It is estimated that every 4 seconds, someone dies from hunger. In the 30 Hour Famine, we go without food so others don’t have to.
Every year, SMUS participates in the 30 Hour Famine. By giving something up for 30 hours (food, technology, or furniture), students raise money and awareness about worldwide hunger. There are also options to do a technology or furniture famine, allowing students to still engage in issues that millions of children face every day.
The 30 Hour Famine is not just an experience where we watch a video or listen to a motivational speaker. To give up something we are so used to, nearly unconscious of, is a much more lasting, worthwhile experience. You get a taste for what it is like to be truly hungry.
While doing the famine, I overheard someone say, “It’s not like your not eating right now is keeping a child from going hungry somewhere else.” He was right. Depriving myself of food for 30 hours does not immediately save a child from hunger or poverty. What it does do, however, is create a connection with youth who live in poverty every day, both worldwide and in our own backyards. It develops empathy and understanding, a change in the way you think. It’s about the personal challenge and growth that comes from recognizing injustice and actively working to change it. It’s about taking part in something bigger than yourself. So often we hear “I’m starving” when someone has not eaten for a few hours, or they are just bored. Hunger is a real issue that happens all around us; it demands our attention. I encourage you all to take part next year. The famine is a truly rewarding experience.
By Sara Owen-Flood
This article appeared in the May edition of The Jag student newspaper. Click here to read the full edition.