Poverty and hunger aren’t issues that can be resolved in a day, but that doesn’t mean that 25 students from Penn State Behrend won’t give it the old college try.
This weekend’s 30 Hour Famine, an annual event sponsored by the college’s Protestant and Catholic campus ministries, will raise both awareness of hunger and money to help alleviate it. Beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, 30 Hour Famine participants will gather at Our Lady of Peace Church on Erie’s west side for an overnight retreat that includes a presentation by Dan Quigley, director of operations at the Erie City Mission. Quigley will discuss poverty issues that are specific to Erie to inspire the students as they work through mid-March raising funds for the Mission’s food programs.
On Saturday morning, the students will canvass areas of Wesleyville and Lawrence Park to hand out flyers publicizing the services of the Wesleyville Interfaith Food Pantry. “We want to make community residents aware of this resource in their backyard, whether they are in need of food or are in a position to help support the pantry,” says Jackie Oesmann, coordinator of the college’s Catholic Campus Ministry. “30 Hour Famine is a unique event in that students make an immediate impact on hunger by distributing these flyers, and then commit to fundraising for the Erie City Mission over the next month. They are given much time and opportunity to reflect on how poverty affects our community.”
After canvassing on behalf of the food pantry, students will break their 30-hour fast at Old Country Buffet.
Anyone interested in helping to support the students’ efforts on behalf of the Erie City Mission can send a donation to 30 Hour Famine in care of the Larry and Kathryn Smith Chapel, 4701 College Drive, Erie PA 16563. (Make checks payable to Erie City Mission.) Donations also can be made online at www.ErieCityMission.org; note in the “In Memory Of” box that the gift is made in honor of Penn State Behrend’s 30 Hour Famine.