Hearing stories of hunger, starvation, the need for water supply and poverty are very emotional. Even though a picture is worth a million words, the truth is never captured by text in comparison to gaining the experience first hand.
Cabrini College Catholic Relief Services student ambassadors on campus began planning the first annual Food Fast Retreat six months ago and on Sunday, April 29, their dreams were put into action. The ambassadors began planning this event because they wanted to bring awareness to the many people in the United States and globally who suffer from food insecurity. &quo;The purpose of the Food Fast Retreat was to live in solidarity with the many people around the world who go hungry each day,” said Kelsey Kastrava, vice president of CRS Ambassadors.
The 14 students and three faculty who participated spent 10 hours fasting, interacting in case-study scenarios and then reflecting, in order to put themselves in the shoes of the many who go hungry daily.
The day began with an icebreaker [and then] the real work then began. Dr. Jerry Zurek, professor of communication, led a discussion about the poor and vulnerable domestically. He showed a video about a marine veteran who is now impoverished and works at a daycare center barely making enough to pay her bills. The young lady in the video spoke about how some nights she doesn’t eat because there is only enough food for her children. Her children take full advantage of the free breakfast and free lunch provided from the school system. She said that if the government cuts funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, she does not know what would happen to her family.
“Educate your hearts because your hearts help choose what your brains think,” Zurek said