WEB EXCLUSIVE: Students fast to raise money for the hungry

Joseph A. Stanonik

Credit: Beth Rankin

Most students don’t know the meaning of hunger. Ten Kent State students and 10 local high school students have a better idea about what it’s like to not have enough food to eat.

Starting at 1 p.m. Friday, the 20 students began a 30-hour fast that ended with a chili cook-off Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Newman Center.

“No one felt really hungry, just tired. By (Saturday) afternoon we were feeling pretty sluggish,” said Carmen J. Roebke, pastoral associate of Christian formation at the Newman Center.

Sophomore geology major Steve Maliszeski said fasting gave him a better perspective on what it’s like to be from the third world and not have enough to eat.

“As college students, we don’t really think about food. I mean we have our food card so we can eat whenever we want. It’s really different when you can’t,” Maliszeski said.

The students began their fast Friday afternoon and remained in the Newman Center all night. On Saturday, they spent the day doing charity work in Ravenna. During their fast students could only drink water or juice. Mass at 5 p.m. Saturday ended their fast.

The Newman Center, in association with World Vision International, earned more than $2000 for world hunger. World Vision is an international organization that fights world hunger in the third world. According to them, it takes about a dollar a day to feed a third-world child. Therefore, each student’s goal was to get 12 donations of $30, or enough money to feed one child for a year.

According to campus minister Nick Hosmer, it was not a coincidence that the fast occurred during the season of Lent.

“It’s not only a sacrifice but an opportunity for us to be in solidarity with the world’s poor,” Hosmer said. “As Catholics we have parishioners all over the world who don’t get to enjoy the luxuries we have in America. It’s a chance to connect, in a personal way, with the struggle of not having enough food to eat.”

The chili for the cook-off was prepared by 10 families of the church. Admission cost $10 a person. Profits from the chili cook-off will go to World Vision and the Newman Center’s sister parish in El Salvador.

Contact religion and culture reporter Joseph A. Stanonik at [email protected].