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Skip a Meal, Feed the World

Students donate dining plan meals for Hunger Awareness Week

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Few students here at BU have ever experienced what it is like to be truly hungry.

Stomachs growling and ID in hand, they usually enter the dining halls each day thinking about just one thing: what to eat. However, for hundreds of millions of people across the globe, that’s a luxury they can’t consider. This week BU’s Community Service Center is calling on BU students to help ensure that more people have enough food.

During BU’s Hunger Awareness Week, October 25 to 29, students can sign up to donate two of their dining plan meals to Oxfam America, a relief and development organization that works to fight hunger, poverty, and injustice worldwide. Students who participate will be joining an international movement called Fast for a World Harvest, in which people around the world forego a meal and donate the monetary value of that meal to Oxfam.

“By skipping a meal, students are not only performing an act of solidarity with individuals both in the United States and abroad affected by hunger, but are also raising money that goes towards creating a solution to this problem,” says Ksenia Lanin (CAS’11), CSC public relations program manager.

The more than three-decade-old Fast for a World Harvest movement draws attention to the 850 million chronically hungry people worldwide. To give a sense of how massive the problem of global hunger is, consider this: that figure represents nearly three times the population of the United States. The CSC hopes that this startling number motivates students to help a cause that reaches out to so many.

“This is the easiest, least time-consuming community service you will ever do, yet it has such a huge impact on the organization,” says Lanin.

The donated lunch and dinner meals will be taken off students’ meal plans on Thursday, November 11. On that day, participants will not be able to swipe into the dining halls using their regular plan, but will still be able to use guest meals and convenience/dining points.

Last year, more than 1,000 BU students took part in Hunger Awareness Week, raising more than $9,000. This year, the CSC hopes to have enough student support to top $10,000.

“For the past three years, I have always had extra meals left over on my meal plan at the end of the semester,” says Lanin. “This is a way to take that unused money and contribute it to a cause that affects so many people in our own country.”

On October 25 through 28, from 5 to 8 p.m., students will be able to donate meals at Hunger Awareness tables outside the West, Warren, Towers, Shelton, and Myles dining halls. On October 29, there will be tables outside only the Warren and West dining halls.

More information on Oxfam and Fast for a World Harvest is available here.

Tom Vellner can be reached at tvellner@bu.edu; follow him on Twitter at @tomgvellner.

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