Students fast to help others eat

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Youth watch a movie during the Starve-a-Thon fast at the Bethel Green Creek United Methodist Church. Youth watch a movie during the Starve-a-Thon fast at the Bethel Green Creek United Methodist Church.

GREEN CREEK – Carlos Camacho, 12, of Woodbine, remembers having nothing to eat for two days when his family was snowed in at a hotel about six years ago.

On Friday and Saturday, he experienced 30 hours of hunger, but this time it was by choice.

Camacho was among youth who took part in a fast called the Starve-a-Thon to raise money for the Bethel Green Creek United Methodist Church food pantry.

A fast is often a religious ritual where people avoid food for a period of time.

“It’s hard but knowing it’s for a good cause, it pays off,” Camacho said.

Some people have no idea when they will get their next meal, he said.

Children at the Green Creek United Methodist Youth Fellowship passed the time Friday and Saturday to try to get their minds off food. They watched movies, played games, participated in Bible studies and completed other activities.

More than 20 hours into the fast, Trinity Garner of Green Creek said she had no cravings food.

That surprised the 11-year-old, who indicated that she is a big eater.

Children did have drinks like decaffeinated coffee and they had frozen popsicles. Garner said downing coffee made her hyped and happy.

“It’s actually been killing our hunger. At least my hunger,” she said.

Garner said she had about four cups since the fast began Feb. 22.

The fast allowed her to see how people face hunger and it also made her realize how lucky she is to have clothes and food. Garner said she hopes to eat less and donate food to those who need it.

Others had a difficult time dealing with an empty stomach.

“I’m starving,” said Brianna Armstrong, 12, of Rio Grande.

So much so that she chewed on her shirt a few times, she said.

Armstrong also found herself getting irritated when others talked about food.

“I don’t think I will be able to do this again,” she said.

But she said she enjoyed being able to help others, by raising money for the church’s food pantry.

Bryce Cox of Upper Township fended off hunger by playing on his iPad.

“It’s been very interesting and fun,” the 14-year-old said.

The youth weren’t the only ones who learned something during the Starve-a-Thon.

Youth leader Clara Golley, 28, of Whitesboro, said she realized that she would wake up Sunday with food but others would not.

On Saturday night, the fast ended with Holy Communion.

This is the first time the Green Creek church hosted the event, and the Rev. Gerri Ridings thinks the fast will be held annually.

So far, $458 has been raised for the church’s food pantry, which is open the third Wednesday of the month from 5-6 p.m. The pantry has been in operation for about four years.

The ecumenical youth group usually meets 7-8:30 p.m. every other Friday and is open to 6 to 12 year olds. The Green Creek United Methodist Youth Fellowship grew out of a vacation Bible school in September.

For more information, call the church at 889-0474 or see the church’s Facebook page.

Carlos Camacho, middle, plays a game as Brianna Armstrong and Trinity Garner look on. Carlos Camacho, middle, plays a game as Brianna Armstrong and Trinity Garner look on.

Young people hold a sign made for the Starve-a-Thon fast to raise money for the church food pantry. Young people hold a sign made for the Starve-a-Thon fast to raise money for the church food pantry.

 


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