According to the latest announcement by the Interclub Council and the Community Service Interclub Council, Princeton’s 11 eating clubs will participate in an initiative called ‘Trick-or-Feed’ during this year’s Princetoween, which falls on Oct. 29. In order to enter an eating club on Thursday night, students must have a special Trick-or-Feed sticker which can be acquired at Frist Campus Center or the Bendheim Center for Finance.
To receive their sticker, students are highly encouraged to make a donation to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen to help provide meals for the homeless. The Editorial Board applauds this community-oriented decision by the ICC and urges students to take it seriously by giving what they can to the cause. Moreover, the Board supports the voluntary nature of the initiative. While a mandatory payment could exclude or coerce students who are not able to give, the proposed method of collecting donations at sticker stations strikes a balance between inclusivity and helping the community.
Outside of Princeton’s Orange Bubble, homelessness and hunger are very real problems affecting many people and families that make the stress of midterms week pale in comparison. This is a global problem, but it also exists right here in Mercer County, where there are an estimated 43,760 individuals who do not have secure access to food, according to Feeding America, an anti-hunger nonprofit. The total number for New Jersey is over 1,100,000.
At Princeton, where many students have the luxury of eating their meals in elegant mansions on Prospect Avenue, students should keep those who are less fortunate in mind. The disparity is especially intense on a party night like Princetoween, when many students spend large amounts of money on alcohol and single-use costumes.
The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen is a worthy cause that serves nearly 5,000 meals per week throughout the year, getting by largely on donations and volunteer time. According to its mission statement, TASK also “offers programs to encourage self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of its patrons,” showing its commitment to addressing the root problems behind poverty and hunger. If 1,000 Princeton students gave only $3 each, the donations would cover an entire day of operations for TASK. The Board believes that the best way to support TASK’s operations is to give money when picking up a sticker or online via Tilt. Cash donations are preferable because they allow food banks like TASK to optimize their inventory and minimize labor costs.
Obviously, one event is not a substitute for increasing our commitment to civic engagement and does not solve the problem of hunger, but it is certainly a start and an opportunity for reflection for everyone. The Board commends those members of the Community Service Interclub Council who work to integrate Princeton’s social scene with a genuine awareness for social justice and encourages them to do more to create a sense of social responsibility that has a lasting impact beyond the revelry of Princetoween and the festivities of Truckfest. These recommendations will help the University foster a greater awareness towards problems off-campus.
The Editorial Board is an independent body and decides its opinions separately from the regular staff and editors of The Daily Princetonian. The Board answers only to its Chair, the Opinion Editor and the Editor-in-Chief.