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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Students Fast for a Purpose

Campus Organizations and the Student Body fasted together for Fasting for a Purpose in support of Hunger and Homelessness Week to raise money and awareness for less fortunate families in Massachusetts this holiday season.

Last year, 47% of Massachusetts hunger relief agencies ran out of food.

This year, Mass PIRG, BLAST, and OSLCE sponsored, along with a collaboration from the Asian Student Center, Catholic Student Association, Muslims Students Association, Pakistani Student Association, the Undergraduate Student Government, and the Office of Student Leadership for Fasting for a Purpose and raised over $200 for the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Pine Street Inn.

Students skipped a meal or fasted for a day to know what it was like to be hungry. Instead of purchasing food for themselves for the day, they donated the food costs to help buy turkeys for Thanksgiving.

“Fasting is hard, but I could manage because I knew at the end of the day, I would be able to eat. I can only imagine the feeling of not knowing when I would have my next meal,” said Mass PIRG volunteer Emma Forest.

Mass PIRG alone raised $90 and helped with the UMB canned food and cereal drive. The bins displayed around campus allowed students, staff, and faculty to help hungry families.

“We pulled together to fast and experienced hunger. It was powerful to hear from our peers what it was like. Our Muslim students compared it to Ramadan. It was a positive, meaningful experience,” said Mass PIRG Coordinator Brett Kalikow.

The event concluded with a group discussion where students reflected on the experience. For many, this is a real life problem. Student Body President Terral Ainooson addressed the students.

“You don’t have to look like you’re down on your luck to really need help. Especially as students, we need to be aware of people in our own community who are struggling and take care of each other,” said Ainooson.

Veteran and UMB Vice President Neil MacInnes-Barker shared that hunger was something very real to him and that asking for help was difficult.

“It’s difficult. There’s a lot of shame and guilt in admitting you can’t provide for yourself and need assistance,” said MacInnes-Barker.

The campus effort to tackle hunger continues with the month long canned food drive, as well as a sock drive. Students can continue to help by donating their time, money, or food to help those who need our help this holiday season.

About the Contributor
Felicia Whatley served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Managing Editor: Spring 2009 *News Editor: 2009-2010 *Whatley served alongside Caleb Nelson for these years.