Midnight Run began in October of 1988 after two students attended the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness Conference at Harvard University in 1987. The two students modeled the group after a student organization in New York that distributed sandwiches on the subways and drove around the city streets giving food, blankets, hats and gloves to people who were without homes.
The students saw the need for a similar program in Milwaukee and brought the program back to Marquette. Initially, they drove around at night to give food, clothes, and blankets to the homeless that were still on the streets, hence, the name Midnight Run. These pioneering students soon realized that most homeless people were in shelters by that time of night, so the organized noon and evening meals on the streets of campus. The Evening Run was eventually dropped because of low numbers but the Noon Run grew in participation. The Noon Run works to meet the needs of the hungry and homeless of Milwaukee, operating 6 days a week.
The first year the volunteer group consisted of 20 dedicated volunteers. Currently, as a program of Campus Ministry, we have between 100-150 Marquette student volunteers serving at ten sites around the city. The mission of Midnight Run is tied to the corporal works of mercy found in the 25th chapter of Matthew’s gospel, to serve the least of our society, not simply food, but fellowship as well.
Whether it be the Noon Run, or any of the other nine sites of Midnight Run: St. Vincent de Paul North and South, St. Benedict the Moor Meal Program, Marquette Apartments, Guest House, Casa Maria, Gesu, Open Gate, St. James Gathering and Repairers of the Breach, students are able to interact with the guests and engage in conversations that help unite people of many varying backgrounds.