Archive for Sunday, February 23, 1997


February 23, 1997


Group gives up food to help stop hunger across the globe.

The fruit, eggs, and biscuits and gravy seemed like a simple meal, but it was like a feast to the group of teen-agers and young adults.

About 120 junior high, high school and college students gave up food for 30 hours Friday and Saturday to raise money to curtail world hunger. The program at First Christian Church, 1000 Ky., ended at 6 p.m. Saturday with a meal.

The fast -- 30 Hour Famine -- took place at hundreds of locations across the globe through World Vision, an international Christian relief agency. Several churches in Lawrence and the area had separate fasts, but First Christian, with 10 churches and a Kansas University group, had the most participants.

Each participant gathers sponsors, who pay a certain amount for each hour the person fasts, said Rick Mumford, director of youth ministries for Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

"Thousands and thousands of kids did this around the world and raised millions of dollars," Mumford said. "There's a major problem and a lot of kids are dying (of hunger). This is telling kids there's a problem."

The youths took frequent juice breaks and participated in activities that focused on world hunger. They slept in sleeping bags on the floor of an annex of the church. When the 6 p.m. dinner time came around, they showed a surge of energy in a dash to the food.

"I got hungry. I got real hungry," said Brynee Baldridge, a 17-year-old Lawrence resident who is home-schooled.

Baldridge raised $535 through the program. After spending two months in Mexico to visit grandparents last year, she knows how hunger can affect different countries.

"I knew I wanted to do this, because I love kids and want to help them," she said.

Eric Demarest, an 18-year-old Baldwin High School student, said he didn't feel particularly hungry, but was left without any energy after the fast.

"It's for a good cause. I just thought it would be a neat experience to fast," Demarest said. "This is a practical way to do something. Otherwise, what are we going to do to help kids in Zimbabwe and other countries?"

Totals from all the churches in Lawrence that participated weren't available Saturday night, but Mumford estimated about $8,000 was raised through the First Christian fast.

"This lets people see how we are actually involved, just as people on this planet," he said. "Hunger is a lot closer than you think."

The youths went door-to-door Saturday afternoon gathering canned goods to donate to the Salvation Army. About 400 cans were gathered.

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