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Panem Public Service Announcement: Hunger Games poverty awareness comes to campus

This week students and teachers will show their bravery and honor as they volunteer as tributes for the annual Poverty Awareness Week. Tributes will take part in the Hunger Games in order represent their districts and hopefully emerge as victors. This year, the Games have taken on a new form. In order to win, each tribute must survive for five days on only $1.25 per day.

The Poverty Simulation will help students and faculty to understand the struggles that low-income families face everyday.

Jen Jaroch, a District 12 tribute and junior math education major, says that after experiencing the Games she will no longer take for granted the luxuries of the Watterson Dining Center. She plans to use strategy in order to make it through the week.

“To survive through this week, I need to plan ahead, which is much different than I am used to. There are 55-cent loaves of bread at Jimmy Johns, which I plan on buying every day. I’ll be getting Ramen on a good sale at Aldi, and I also will get some potatoes to make baked or mashed,” Jaroch said.

Andrew S. Avitt/Photographer Jen Jaroch, junior math education major, shopped for cheap foods Sunday. She accepted the challenge to live on just $1.25 per day as part of ISU’s poverty awareness week.

Andrew S. Avitt/Photographer
Jen Jaroch, junior math education major, shopped for cheap foods Sunday. She accepted the challenge to live on just $1.25 per day as part of ISU’s poverty awareness week.

Jaroch also looks forward to the prospect of becoming more aware of global conditions by walking a mile in another district member’s shoes.

“While this is just an optional challenge for college students, this is real life for many people in the world. This experience will end for us on Friday, but I can’t imagine what it is like to have to struggle for food on a daily basis,” Jaroch said.

Participants are invited to take part in many Poverty Awareness events throughout the week of Feb. 16-21, all with “The Hunger Games” theme. Interested students can sign up for each event online, all sponsored by Diversity Advocacy, Campus Dining and Leadership & Service.

After the Reaping, which took place on Sunday, those participating can look forward to Tribute Training at noon today in the Student Services Building, Room 314.

The tributes will test their skills and decide their strategies by listening to their sponsor, Mary Ann Pullin, CEO of Home Sweet Home Ministries. Pullin will discuss poverty issues and statistics about homelessness within the Bloomington-Normal area.

Tributes will use their training to prepare for Service to Panem, a community service project in collaboration with Home Sweet Home Ministries.

Service to Panem will start at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and only 15 victors will be chosen to participate. Transportation to the chosen district will be provided thanks to the kind citizens of Panem.

The remaining tributes are invited to gather at 5:30 p.m. on  Thursday in the Student Services Building, Room 375 to discuss the challenges and great rewards that they faced while battling the Hunger Games.

Finally, the annual Poverty Simulation will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday in the Bowling and Billiards Center Activity Room.

A delicious Capitol feast will be presented to “The Hunger Games” Poverty Awareness Week victors while they experience a simulation of the poverty that District 12 citizens live under.

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