Charities band together to raise awareness for hunger and homelessness

Story by Emily Combs, Contributing writer 

Thursday night, three local charities joined forces at Murray State to raise awareness and funds with the Hunger and Homelessness Banquet.

For the second year, Soup for the Soul, Needline, and the Gentry House hosted the banquet to open people’s eyes to the realities of poverty.

1 in 6 people in Calloway County face hunger.

Banquet goers were randomly sorted into three different groups, with three very different dining experiences. Thirty percent were served rice and water, representing the 30 percent of Calloway County residents who live below the poverty line. 55 percent represented the county’s middle class with hot dogs and kool-aid, and a lucky 15 percent dined on a four course meal as Calloway’s upper class.

During the meal, various speakers from the organizations hosting the event shared personal testimonies, thoughts and encouragement regarding the local effort to end hunger and homelessness.

Jennifer Bomar, a senior at Murray State and mother of seven, recalled the Gentry House’s support when she and her family lost their home her junior year of school.

“[The Gentry House] provided a stable and safe environment, and helped us achieve our goals,” she said.

Bomar has now found stable housing, but she remembers the Gentry House’s contribution to her family with gratitude.

“I share my story story to encourage those who can help,” Bomar said.

Proceeds from the banquet will be split evenly between Soup for the Soul, The Gentry House and Needline.