Fast Held To Raise Awareness of Local Poverty

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — It's estimated that at least one million children in New York state currently live in poverty. Facts like these prompt the third annual Hunger Awareness Fast at Vassar College, on Monday, November 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This daylong series of programs, designed to raise political and spiritual awareness of hunger and poverty issues, will be held in conjunction with the Hunger Action Network of New York State's annual Thanksgiving Fast Against Hunger.

The Hunger Action Network of New York State (HANNYS) was created in 1982 to work with emergency food providers, poor people, religious and secular agencies and concerned individuals to increase the amount of food provided to hungry New Yorkers.

Participants in the Hunger Awareness Fast will be encouraged to donate money to Dutchess Outreach, a prominent local organization fighting hunger in the community.

The programs held in the Rose Parlor of Vassar's Main Building will be led by Rabbi Rena Blumenthal, the college's advisor to Jewish students. The Hunger Awareness Fast schedule of programs includes:

10:00 a.m.
Rose Parlor, Main Building
Vassar College
Gathering of Intentions for Fasters
This room will be made available all day for fasters and non-fasting supporters to gather for conversation and quiet reflection. HANNYS will sell T-shirts to raise money for Dutchess Outreach. An art project that illustrates the issues surrounding poverty and hunger will be created throughout the day. Materials and information about world and local hunger from Sustainable Harvest International, Heifer International and Oxfam will also be available.

10:30-11:45 a.m.
Poughkeepsie Farm Project
Vassar College Farm
Vegetable Harvest at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project
The Poughkeepsie Farm Project is a non-profit organization that works toward a just and sustainable food system in the Mid-Hudson Valley. It operates a member-supported garden at the Vassar farm, which grows over seven acres of vegetables. The Poughkeepsie Farm Project has donated over 16,000 pounds of produce, per season, to local soup kitchens and shelters. The harvest will be delivered to the Lunchbox, Dutchess Outreach's soup kitchen, at noon.

12:00 p.m.
The Lunchbox
Family Partnership Center, 29 N. Hamilton St.
Delivery of Harvested Produce to the Lunchbox
Fresh produce from the Poughkeepsie Farm Project will be donated to Dutchess Outreach's local soup kitchen.

1:00-1:30 p.m.
Rose Parlor, Main Building
Midday Gathering
This event will be an opportunity for participants to share poetry, songs, prayers, or readings.

4:00-5:00 p.m.
Rose Parlor, Main Building
Conversation with Fasters
Various topics related to fasting will be discussed, including the cultural traditions and purposes of fasts.

5:00 p.m.
Rose Parlor, Main Building
Break Fast
Zorona's, a local Middle Eastern restaurant, will be catering a meal of soup and bread.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Weinberg of the Vassar Hunger Action Committee, at (781) 883-3926. Co-sponsors for the Hunger Awareness Fast include the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Vassar Hunger Action Committee, and Dutchess Outreach. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities, at (845) 437-5370.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, November 16, 2005