This post is from Lauren Birkhimer as part of her 30 Hour Famine fundraiser this semester. We’ll meet at First UMC in St. Augustine at 9 am on April 13. We’ll volunteer at the Homeless Coalition, do a car wash to raise money for World Vision, and have a dinner to break our fast at 6:30 pm. All are welcome to participate in the event regardless of participation in fasting. See Lauren’s first post here.

Fasting is done for many reasons and in many ways — for dietary reasons, for medical reasons, for religious observance, or for justice. But no matter the reason or the way someone fasts, it is always an act of sacrifice. However, fasting can be about more than just what is given up. It can be about what can be done during those hours you are not eating.

According to World Vision, 1 in 9 people on Earth do not have enough to eat. That is because 736 million people live on less than $1.90 a day, and many farmers cannot grow enough food to feed their families, much less sell to earn an income.

I could throw more statistics at you from multiple websites showcasing the severity of hunger around the world. But you cannot truly understand how hard it is for those who starve every day unless you step into their shoes. Fasting gives you firsthand experience of what it feels like to go without food for an extended period of time. Participating in the 30 Hour Famine will only give you a taste. But remember, this is a choice you can make to go without food for just over a day. For many, it is not a choice.

They cannot count down the hours and minutes until their next meal because they may not know when their next meal will be, or what it will be. They cannot decide to just give up going without food because it becomes too hard and their stomach is rumbling. They may not even have clean water to drink. But we can do more than just let ourselves go hungry. We can act.

During the 30 Hour Famine, we can volunteer in our communities to help the hungry in our own neighborhoods. Fasting also helps spread awareness of the problem. It gives you the opportunity to share with your friends and family the reason behind your decision to fast which can help us build an army to fight the monster that is hunger. We can also raise money to donate to World Vision. Most of each dollar donated, about $0.60, is sent to local community programs around the world to feed the hungry. The rest is invested in global networks to generate grants and donated goods that further help end hunger. World hunger cannot be eradicated in 30 hours. But if enough people take a step towards fighting for justice, we can help save the lives of undernourished and starving people around the globe.

March 28, 2019