The Hunger and Homelessness Auction, an annual event held at the School of Medicine that raises funds to help alleviate hunger and homelessness in the New Haven area, turned 20 this year.

The first auction was organized in 1993, when medical student Jeffrey Meyerhardt, M.D. ’97, M.P.H., now associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, proposed the idea to Robert H. Gifford, M.D., professor emeritus of medicine and associate dean of student affairs at the time. “He and I cooked up the first auction, which was held in Harkness Ballroom,” Gifford recalls. That year, the auction raised about $3,500. In 1994, the proceeds were $7,000.

Organized by students from the School of Medicine, the Physician Associate Program, and the School of Nursing, the event now typically generates more than $25,000. The auction has grown into a week-long slate of activities, including a football game between the first- and second-year classes, panel discussions, performances, and films—all culminating in both silent and live auctions of donated items. Past recipients of proceeds from the auction include the Community Health Care Van, Loaves and Fishes, Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven, and New Haven Home Recovery, and Youth Continuum.