Students hold 30-hour famine to help feed the hungry

Heather Scarlett

Students participating in the 30-hour famine at the Newman Center Friday night tie themselves into a human knot as part of the night’s festivities. CAITLIN PRARAT | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

Imagine going without food for 30 hours.

That’s what some students did during the 30-hour famine this weekend in an effort to raise money for starving people around the world.

The fasting began at noon Friday and ended at 5:30 p.m. Saturday when the fast was broken during a communion ceremony at the University Parish Newman Center. College and high school students participated in the national event, which was sponsored by World Vision.

Nick Hosmer, pastoral associate for campus ministry at the University Parish Newman Center, said fundraising activities began at 7 p.m. when church members and the students involved performed the Stations of the Cross ritual.

About 45 people stood in the main sanctuary, sang and read scripture from the Bible while focusing on each of the 14 metal plaques mounted on the wall.

Becky Fortune, senior business management major, said the Stations of the Cross was not part of the 30-hour famine, but a part of Lent, which happens to coincide with the event.

The main event began at about 8 p.m. About 20 students gathered to join in activities and view video clips, which were meant to raise awareness about the problem of starvation in the world with an emphasis on Uganda.

Kent State alumnus Matt Wilson said, “Tonight’s activities are meant to raise funds and generate awareness to fight hunger around the world.”

Carmen Roebke, pastoral assistant for Christian formation at the Newman Center, said this is the third year the church has held the fundraising event. This year’s goal was to raise $3,000.

They haven’t met their goal yet.

“At this point we’ve raised well over $1,000,” Hosmer said.

Roebke, who was the leader of the night’s events, gave identity cards to the students, which contained information about the Ugandan child they were going to be for the night.

Participants played a game called “Tribes,” in which they were blindfolded and told to find the members of their own tribe. They did this by calling out the tribe name that was written on their identity cards: Madi or Karamajog. Some students were orphans, and the tribes had to decide if they wanted to adopt that person or not.

As she told them about the situation in Uganda, Roebke said the country has been part of a 19-year war in which children young as eight years old are abducted to join the ranks of the Lord’s Resistance Army, which is lead by Joseph Kony.

Allison Mirkov, sophomore nursing major, said during one of the activities, “I was trying to picture what life would be like as one of those kids.”

Mirkov said the 30-Hour Famine is a good cause because there are thousands of people dying of hunger everyday and feeding the hungry is something society should focus on.

Fortune said, “While we’re fasting, it is raising money for those who are going without food.”

The events were continued on Saturday when the students went to service centers in the Youngstown area, Hosmer said. They participated in activities at the following places:

n Saint Vincent de Paul Society dining hall, where they helped cook and serve the food.

n The Saint Vincent de Paul Society service center, where they sorted clothes and household items for people in need.

n The Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley, where they helped clean the sleeping areas and the bathrooms.

Hosmer said, “I’m very encouraged by the student’s participation and the willingness of the student and non-student parishioners to go without and sacrifice for the well-being of others.”

Those interested in the event can visit for more information.

Contact religion reporter Heather Scarlett at [email protected].