The Vancouver Experience 6: 30 Hour Famine
When I was 8 years old, my family and I immigrated to Vancouver, Canada. Starting a new life in a completely alien environment had its challenges. This is part of that story.
In middle school, there was a yearly event called the “30 Hour Famine”. The word famine refers to an extreme shortage of food. It was a charity event, and what it required was for each participant to not eat anything for 30 hours. The entry fee was a donation of $30 to the cause. It was a way to raise money and also experience (to the most minimal degree), what it feels like for people in third-world countries who starve. Obviously, 30 hours is not enough to cause serious starvation, but the goal was to raise awareness.
However, it was not mandatory for students to participate in the event. Where then, you may ask, was the motivation for teenagers to mildly starve themselves? It lay in the fact that you got to spend a night at the school. On the day of the famine, the participating kids brought sleeping bags to school, and after classes, we stayed at school until the next morning. In the evening, we got to watch movies, play games, and hang out. We could not eat, so we got creative about how to pass the time. We all slept in the gym, with a giant wall between the boys and girls. The hungry kids slept in sleeping bags and stayed up all night messing around. The next morning, breakfast was served at the school and we stuffed ourselves with muffins and crackers. As young kids, I’m not sure how conscious we were of world famine, but it definitely gave us an appreciation of food on a new level.
I participated in this event a few times. As much as it shed light on famine, it helped everyone deepen their friendships with each other by spending one hungry day together.