Hungry for change
Mount Royal students sacrificed their stomachs this past weekend in order to raise money and awareness for world hunger.
The 30-Hour Famine began 38 years ago in Calgary and continues today in the city as well as around the globe. Participants collect donations and then forgo food for 30 hours to get a small glimpse into what it’s like being without food for an extended period of time.
“I think it just opens (student’s) eyes to see what it’s like to go without food,” said first-year student Jessica Cameron of her first 30-Hour Famine.
“And 30 hours seems like a long time, but in reality it isn’t when there are people that go weeks without any type of food. It’s important to see what it’s like.”
During the famine, the students met to play games and watch informative videos about hunger, said Cameron. One video that featured the story of a little boy stuck with her. The young boy’s parents had died and in order to live, he was forced to hunt mice.
“It brings a different perspective into your life,” she said. Although it was a challenge going without food for a little more than a day, Cameron said she knows that it’s nothing compared to those who live with hunger everyday.
“There was times when you could hear your stomach rumbling but it wasn’t until about 10 o’clock Friday night that I started to feel it and going to bed was the hardest,” she said.
“It kind of comes and goes throughout the 30 hours so it wasn’t too bad overall. I couldn’t imagine going days and days without food.”
In total 60 students signed up, but it’s hard to tell at this point how much money was raised, said Art Kung who coordinated the famine.
Kung, who volunteers at the campus’ chapel centre, explained how important it is to address the issue of hunger, especially when over 950 million people around the world are living in hunger. In a time when we are dealing with an economic downturn, we tend to focus on our inability to buy a second car, when in reality, there are people in the world with much bigger problems, said Kung.
“I think it’s vitally important especially when we’re looking at our economy now … all the worry that stands now, the people in poverty, that has been an issue their entire life,” he said.
Even Kung’s eight-year-old son made a sacrifice this weekend, giving up electronics instead of food, which was especially difficult when he wasn’t able to play video games at a birthday party, said Kung with a laugh.
“Even for an eight-year-old he can be engaged in it.”