Daybreak youth shelter in Dayton.

CU's "Dine Out for Hunger" week benefits Dayton's homeless youth

by Madi Cannon, Public Relations Writer


For the 10th year in a row, students from Cedarville University’s social work honor society, Phi Alpha, are partnering with local restaurants to host a Dine Out for Hunger event November 13-17.

Restaurants participating in this year’s Dine Out for Hunger week include Chick-fil-A and Buffalo Wild Wings in Beavercreek; Colonial Pizza, Mom & Dad's Dairy Bar, Cassie Jo’s, Grill-N-the Ville and Beans & Cream in Cedarville; Rinnova in Cedarville’s Stevens Student Center; and Young's Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs.

Participants can eat at local restaurants throughout the week, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Daybreak, an emergency center for youth ages 10-19 in downtown Dayton. Daybreak provides homeless and runaway youth with food, clothing, transitional housing, life-skills education and an employment program.

Phi Alpha began the Dine Out for Hunger event in 2008 to raise awareness about National Hunger and Homelessness Week. Thirteen students are involved in planning and organizing Dine Out for Hunger this year, which raised more than $1,300 last year.

“My hope is that Dine Out for Hunger reflects the heart of Christ for the hungry and homeless,” said Gabe Cyrus, senior social work major and Phi Alpha president from Newbury, Ohio. “Because we have been changed by the love of Christ, we pour that love into the hopeless who are among us.”

While Dine Out for Hunger supports local businesses and raises awareness about poverty, it also gives Cedarville students hands-on experience with fundraising, event planning and utilizing community resources.

“The students learn how to get the community involved through fundraising and organizational skills,” explained Melissa Brown, associate professor of social work. “They also have the opportunity to research organizations in the community that serve homeless and hungry populations.”

Cedarville social work students must complete a 425-hour internship with a local nonprofit during their senior year, and many students intern with Daybreak. This year, Alyssa Kelly, a senior social work major from Kenosha, Wisconsin, is interning with Daybreak.

“Interning at Daybreak has shown me that there is a lot of power in a strong support system in the life of homeless youth,” said Kelly. “Daybreak offers holistic services to address the multilayered needs of homeless youth in crisis.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.