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Pre-Thanksgiving Fast will raise awareness of hunger and poverty issues, and will provide a space for individuals to reflect on their relationship to food. Monday, November 24, 2008

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Over two million New Yorkers rely on Emergency Food Programs (EPFs) each year, such as the food pantry and soup kitchen operated by Dutchess Outreach of Poughkeepsie, a local non-profit organization fighting hunger in the community.

It is this need that prompts the sixth annual Hunger Awareness Fast at Vassar College, on Monday, November 24, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

This free daylong series of public programs is designed to raise political and spiritual awareness of hunger and poverty issues, and will be held in conjunction with the Hunger Action Network of New York State’s (HANNYS) annual Thanksgiving Action Against Hunger.

Vassar’s Hunger Action Committee encourages charitable donations to Dutchess Outreach, as part of the daylong event.

Activities throughout the day will begin in the Rose Parlor at Vassar College at 10:00 am, and are open to all, fasting or not. These will include informational discussions and conversation about world and local hunger as well as other food issues as well a harvest of produce at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project that will be delivered to the Lunch Box, a soup kitchen in Poughkeepsie operated by Dutchess Outreach. Last year, 250 pounds of potatoes, 13 bushels of collard greens, and kale were delivered to the soup kitchen.

Vassar’s student chapter of the national organization Hunger Action Committee strives to alleviate hunger and homelessness, cooking and distributing meals at a local soup kitchen and shelter on a regular basis. The students also give food, clothing, and toiletries to the homeless people of Poughkeepsie and New York City several times a semester. The Hunger Action Network of New York State (HANNYS) was created in 1982 to work with emergency food providers, low-income individuals, religious and secular agencies and concerned individuals to address the root causes of hunger in New York through education and advocacy.

For more information, contact Sara Weston of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, at saweston@vassar.edu. The Hunger Awareness Fast is sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Vassar Hunger Action Committee, and the Poughkeepsie Farm Project.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Gathering of Intentions for the Fast
10:00 am
Rose Parlor, Main Building
Vassar College
This room will be made available all day for fasters and non-fasting participants to gather for conversation and quiet reflection. Materials and information about world and local hunger as well as other food issues will be available.

Harvest at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project
10:30-11:45 am
Poughkeepsie Farm Project
Vassar College Farm
The Poughkeepsie Farm Project is a non-profit organization that works toward a just and sustainable food system in the Mid-Hudson Valley. It operates a member-supported garden at the Vassar farm, which grows over seven acres of vegetables. The Poughkeepsie Farm Project has donated over 16,000 pounds of produce, per season, to local soup kitchens and shelters. The harvest will be delivered at noon to The Lunchbox soup kitchen.

Delivery of Harvested Produce to the Lunchbox
12:00 pm
The Lunchbox
Family Partnership Center
29 N. Hamilton St.
Poughkeepsie
Fresh produce from the Poughkeepsie Farm Project will be delivered. Operated by Dutchess Outreach, the Lunch Box serves up to 300 hot meals a day for people in need.

Midday Gathering
1:00-2:00 pm
Rose Parlor, Main Building
This event will be a mid-day networking meeting for individuals involved in food issues on campus and in the local community.

Conversation with Fasters
4:00-5:00 pm
Rose Parlor, Main Building
Various topics related to fasting will be discussed, including the cultural traditions and purposes of fasts.

Break Fast
5:00 pm
Rose Parlor, Main Building
To be catered by a local restaurant.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, November 11, 2008