Students at Coppin State University are providing lunches for Baltimore’s homeless through a social media based venture entitled the Hashtag Movement (Movement), started by a group of young Los Angeles philanthropists.
Brittney Wagner, 22 a senior at Coppin State University, said she viewed the Movement as a way of marrying the need for student community involvement to the need to address the hunger that exists in Baltimore.
“I thought it was a great idea to implement the movement in Baltimore so that the outside community will know that Coppin State cares,” Wagner, who engineered the Movement at Coppin, told the AFRO. “Our students will be able to have a chance to engage in some type of community service.”
She said each weekend during the last month, about two dozen students collected money, bought food, prepared sandwiches and loaded them, along with bottled water, into brown paper bags that they then delivered to homeless shelters.
The Movement started in Los Angeles during the Christmas season in 2012 to address widespread hunger among the homeless in the South Coast region. Talk about the Movement spread through social media in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Movement participants, many of them Black, looked for donations from people there to help purchase food and water to make lunch bags to distribute to the homeless in their area.
The Movement has since spread to Toronto, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York.
Wagner said she hopes to generate “a social awareness of the rising rates of homelessness and hunger in Baltimore.”
She said a lot still needs to be done. She hopes through social networking people will see what the Movement is doing and donate.
“I hope we can pack lunches each month, but it all depends on the funds we have,” she said. “We are finding ways to fundraise and locating people who will donate.”
She said during their first event, over 300 lunches were packed and taken to a local homeless shelter.
“Hopefully this will decrease the amount of homelessness in Baltimore City,” said Wagner.
To find our more about the Movement, visit www.hashtaglunchbag.com or find them on twitter@Coppinstatesma