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Fasting to feed another

After the Dining Commons closed on April 11,  people proceeded into the Baird Library to hear Ambassador Tony Hall speak on his fifteenth consecutive day of hunger for the poor.

Moved by impending budget cuts to federal aid programs, Ambassador Hall had decided to fast for the second time in his political career. A former Peace Corps member, Congressman and three-time Noble Peace Prize Nominee, Hall has fasted for the first time in 1993 when the House Select Committee on Hunger was eliminated from Congress. To respond and gain awareness for the problem, Ambassador Hall fasted for twenty-two days.

Fasting gained Ambassador Hall national attention and ultimately hundreds of millions of dollars, which he used to create and support food programs around the world.

This time around the stakes are higher because, in the words of Ambassador Hall, “the current recession has pushed us into havoc.” He explained to the audience that, because of this havoc, the numbers of individuals in poverty have increased, and the 25,000 who die daily from hunger have the potential to increase by the thousands.  He stressed that it is in this exact time of need that the wealthy in power have chosen to cut the programs that address the problem.  He believes strongly that our national budget cannot be “balanced on the backs of the poor.”

Ambassador Hall is frustrated by what he refers to as a “lack of values.” Feeling that God was calling him to act once again, he began to fast on March 28th, believing in the teachings found in Proverbs 14:31 that whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for the Maker.

Ambassador Hall’s current fast can be classified as a “movement” according to public commentary on the Hunger Fast web site.  About 40,000 people have pledged their participation on hungerfast.org, including twenty-eight congressman, and  over 1,000 people “like” the fast on Facebook.

After the presentation, as students returned to their studies and lives, there was the sense that some students could not imagine the pain that Ambassador Hall must be experiencing while surviving on water and juices. However, he said that he no longer felt the desire to eat. To him, the discomfort is worth it because “this fast is for the billion who do not know where their next meal will come from.”

For more information or to pledge your participation, visit www.hungerfast.org.

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