Food Fast educates students on poverty and hunger


Fast Hunger Group: Maxis’ Gillet (Left to right) Amanda Bielet, sophomore, religious studies; Jeanne Russo, sophomore, prephysician assistant; Sister John; Kelsey Savka, junior, secondary math and special education; Jack Waless, freshman, English and secondary education.

Chad Black, Staff Writer

Students gathered in the Latour Room Saturday, Feb. 9 to fast for eight hours as a way to raise awareness and money to help those who suffer from hunger and poverty.

The event, sponsored by Catholic Relief Services (CRS), raises money to help provide the less fortunate with food security. Students who participated were encouraged prior to the event to go out and raise money for the fast. The money raised from CRS Food Fasts is used internationally.

Activities at the fast educated attendees with an education on how the money they raised may potentially be used to educate or provide the necessary tools for those who do not have the resources to grow or gather their own food.

According to Maureen McCullough, the regional director at Catholic Relief Services, the Food Fast is a learning experience.

“Part of the fast is to give folks some simple experience of what people who are dealing with hunger [feel] throughout the day, throughout their lives,” said McCullough.

This was the first Food Fast held at Marywood “within anybody’s recollection,” said Sr. John Michele Southwick, assistant director of Campus Ministry. The Food Fast, which is generally 24 hours, is one of three events Campus Ministry is involved with through Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

The slogan for this year’s fast was “Donate a plate for $8.” Participants were asked to raise at least $8 and fast for eight hours. However, Southwick said there is not a set amount to raise and that the goal of the fast is to raise some money and help those in need.

Although the fast itself ran smoothly, there were some bumps leading up to the event. Getting the word out was the biggest issue, and the small snowstorm the night before did not help to draw a crowd.

According to Kelsey Savka, a student in her third year, Campus Ministry plans to hold the Food Fast again sometime next year.

“We started out with eight hours because it’s our first time, and we didn’t know how it would turn out. So we’re just giving ourselves the little stepping stone, and next year we’re just going to keep running with it. We’re really excited,” said Savka.

Southwick said that she thinks moving the event to a Friday and holding it overnight might also help to make it more successful.