10:29 a.m., April 12, 2010----A number of registered student organizations at the University of Delaware -- including InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Hillel and Uganda Untold -- came together to present Justice Week: Campaign Against Hunger from April 5-9.
Justice Week featured numerous hunger awareness programs, including an educational event regarding hunger and child poverty, an a cappella benefit concert, a “broken bread poverty meal” at Hillel and the “forking” of The Green.
“Over 1 billion people experience hunger on a daily basis, and every seven seconds a child dies from hunger-related causes,” said UD student Molly Baker of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, who helped plan the week. “Due to this unnerving reality, and the catastrophe in Haiti, we think that it is our responsibility, as students, to respond.”
Motivated by faith and seeing an opportunity “to be a part of reconciling the things that are broken in our world,” Baker said the week was held because community is essential and the various events brought together multiple voices to “create greater unity on our campus.”
An important part of Justice Week was an educational event -- with Uganda Untold, the Student Council for Exceptional Children and Kappa Delta Pi Honors Education Society as partners - to discuss how hunger affects the ability of children to learn. Presenters included Tonya Bartell, assistant professor, and Robert Hampel, professor, both in the School of Education.
The event was designed to “expose hunger that exists in the U.S. and how, as future teachers, we can respond to the needs of our students,” said Baker, who spoke at this event about seeing hunger with her own eyes on two trips to South Africa and through her work in North Philadelphia.
An a capella benefit concert featuring the Deltones, Vision, Vocal Point and Golden Blues was held in the Perkins Student Center to “to send the message that regardless of whether or not we can sing, we all of have voices and we can all use our voices to make a difference in the world,” Baker said.
On Thursday, Hillel and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship held a “broken bread poverty meal” during which those who attended put themselves in the shoes of those who experience hunger, eating only a small bowl of a corn-soy porridge blend which, for children in emergency food situations, often is the only meal of the day.
Attendees read story cards of children around the world who experience hunger, and representatives of both Hillel and InterVarsity shared why people of their faiths feel motivated to respond.
A very visible event was the “Fork the Green” held Thursday, with students donating $1 for 10 forks, with each representing a child suffering from hunger. The forks were “planted” in the grass along The Green to draw attention to the problem of hunger around the world.
More than 1,500 forks were placed on The Green thanks to donations from more than 150 students.
The Green was later “de-forked,” according to Marc Guzman, a senior political science and Honors Program student involved with the project, and the forks were washed and reused in order to conserve.
InterVarsity sponsored a final event Friday, “Jesus and Justice,” which Baker said “examined what the Bible says about the brokenness in the world and the ultimate hope we have in Jesus Christ.”
At all of the Justice Week events, students were asked to sign the Global Food Security Act, designed to make a significant contribution toward reducing hunger by investing in sustainable agriculture and nutrition programs.
In addition, events raised more than $1,000 to benefit World Vision, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that works in more than 100 nations and has an emergency food relief program.
“I think this week was a huge success as we got hundreds of signatures, raised over $1,000 for World Vision, had many different student groups partner together, and exposed the reality of world hunger to thousands of students and faculty,” Baker said.
“There is enough in the world for everyone's needs, but not enough for everyone's greed,” she said. “We were challenged this week to reexamine how we spend our money, how much we waste on a daily basis, and our real ability to speak up for change.”
Article by Neil Thomas