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By Rachel Carasso
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 27, 1998

Students fasting to raise awareness about hunger

Although most UA students know what it's like to skip breakfast, few have endured days without eating - but today, some will find out.

Presbyterian University Ministry will fast for 30 hours, beginning today at noon, to gain awareness about hunger and to raise money for starving children.

This month, the ministry collected donations and took pledges for the famine. Money raised will go to World Vision, a non-profit organization that provides starving children with food and medical care worldwide. Last year, the Ministry raised $500 for the charity.

Group members said they know that not eating for a day and a half is not as critical as going without food for weeks or not knowing where the next meal will come from.

"The point of the fast is to get the idea of what it's like to be hungry," said Cesar Cheng-Guajardo, a University Ministry intern.

But some students participating in the famine were wondering if they could last 30 hours without eating.

"Some of these students have never fasted before, so I tell them to drink plenty of water. If they want, they can do a modified fast and reduce their meals or drink juices," Cheng-Guajardo said.

After the 30-hour famine, the participants plan to gather Saturday at a member's house and have dinner.

But they are not going to eat a three-course meal - they will be eating "stone soup."

Heidi Gritsavage, a University Ministry intern, said the group is paying homage to an old legend by ending their fast with the soup.

The legend is about a man who was hungry and went to a town to beg for food. He was turned down and decided to boil a pot of water in the center of the town. He put a stone in the pot and a girl walking by questioned him. He told her the "soup" would taste better with herbs and spices. She brought them to him and eventually other townspeople, on her example, brought vegetables to add to the soup, Gritsavage said.

The legend is about a community that gives support to someone less fortunate, and that represents what the Presbyterian University Ministry is trying to do by having the 30 hour famine, Gritsavage said.

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