Join the Hunger Fast for a Sound, Compassionate Budget

Rebecca Van Maren, 17th Class Emerson National Hunger Fellow
April 11, 2011

Ambassador Tony Hall began a hunger fast on March 28 to highlight the dangerous turn our politics has taken toward caring for the poor in our nation and the world. Since then, over 30,000 individuals and organizations and 28 members of Congress have joined Rep. Hall in his fast and standing together to protect vulnerable people from budget cuts that lack conscience, including our Emerson Hunger Fellow Rebecca Van Maren. As a reminder, in 1993 when Congress eliminated the Select Committee on Hunger, Rep. Tony Hall responded in protest by fasting for 22 days.  Now, with even more extreme proposals being considered, Tony Hall is fasting again and asking others to join him.  His three goals are:

1. Remind people about the status of vulnerable people in the United States and around the world

2. Focusing public attention on the devastating effects that Congress’ proposed cuts would have on vulnerable people.

3. Forming a circle of protection around programs benefitting most vulnerable people her in America and around the world.

RESULTS joins Rep. Hall in his fast — standing together to protect vulnerable people from budget cuts that lack conscience — by asking RESULTS volunteers (and staff) participate in the hunger fast on Wednesday, April 13. A fast can mean different things to different people. For some, it is water-only. For others, it is consuming only liquids or skipping one or more meals a day. A fast can have a specific start and end date, or it can be open-ended (although the RESULTS Fasting Day will be a single day of sacrifice). There are other ways to participate as well. You could limit your food consumption to $2 daily, or take the food stamp challenge at $4 per day. We understand fasting is a very personal decision, so we encourage you to participate in the way you feel comfortable.

The real power of a fast is that it brings urgency to an issue that is often overlooked. Through awareness, we are able to build momentum. Whether you choose to fast or to spread the word to friends and colleagues, write elected officials or local media to tell them we are participating in this effort we can stand together. Start by joining the Circle of Protection and become a part of the fast by signing to participate at www.hungerfast.org.  We also encourage you to share your experience by commenting below about how you are participating and share your experiences and feelings about the day. You could also spread awareness on your personal blog, your Facebook page, Hunger Fast Facebook page, or even tweet about it using #HungerFast or @HungerFast. Note: Fasting, especially for an extended period of time, can be harmful to your health and well-being. If you have any questions or concerns about the potential health consequences, please consult with your doctor before participating.