I’m Starving!

Selene Rubino

How the 30 hour famine helps to eliminate poverty


On Nov. 19, junior Celine Liong spent brunch fantasizing about pizza— buy-one-get-one-free pizzas at Pizza Hut, pizzas with ham and sausage toppings and pizzas with bacon toppings. She  nervously bounced up and down, and looked side to side at the happy eaters surrounding her.

"Crap, why do I do this to myself?"

Liong, along with more than 60 other students, participated in the 30-hour famine on Nov. 19. To better understand hunger, students went hard core cold turkey on food.

The 30-hour famine, hosted by Food for All, encouraged teenagers to spread awareness of world hunger by going more than a day without eating. Unlike traditional charities that focus on fundraising as a way to alleviate poverty, Food for All uses the 30-hour famine to inform people about the nature of hunger.

"Every 3.6 seconds a child dies of hunger," Food for All Treasurer sophomore Anusha Koganti said. "There's so much we can do to help, and by experiencing what they feel it causes people to realize, 'Oh, so that's how they feel.' Instead of seeing hunger as a statistic, it makes it real to you."

At some high schools, students also experience homelessness by sleeping in cardboard shelters on the night of the 30-hour famine. For now, MVHS participants must be content going without food. 

"If you can't eat for one day it's…You just can't tell how much you need food," freshman Pooja Ravikiran said.

While this year marked the first time Food for All accepted donations for the 30-hour famine, participants agree that donations aren't the goal of the event.

"It's not that hard to donate, it's just giving money to the poor," junior Will Ma said. "But it takes a lot more to truly understand what your money actually does, the effect you actually have on the people. People feel hungry everyday—they experience this everyday."