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“Think Food!” A day dedicated to fasting, reflecting, acting, and connecting around food issues before the Thanksgiving holiday, November 23, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—In mid-November, as many Americans anticipate sharing their favorite Thanksgiving foods, the Vassar campus is setting aside a day to think about the issues surrounding the food we eat.

On Monday, November 23, beginning at 10:00am and continuing through the evening, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, in conjunction with other Vassar organizations, will host “Think Food!” a day dedicated to fasting, reflecting, acting, and connecting around food issues. All activities are free and open to the public.

Drawing on the diverse perspectives and experiences of its sponsoring organizations, the program aims to discuss issues of food access, sustainability, nutrition, and our psychological relationship to food, with a special focus on hunger.

To this end, “Think Food!” includes a voluntary fasting component. Fasters are encouraged to use the money they would have spent on food to make a donation to the two local food relief agencies sponsored by this year’s “Community Works” campaign: Dutchess Outreach in Poughkeepsie and Queens Galley in Kingston, NY (see http://communityworks.vassar.edu/recipients/index.html).

“Think Food!” is held in conjunction with the Hunger Action Network of New York State’s (HANNYS) annual Thanksgiving Action Against Hunger. This is the seventh year that Vassar will be hosting its own incarnation of this statewide event.

The program will take place in the Rose Parlor on the second floor of Vassar’s historic Main Building. The day will open with a “Gathering of Intentions” at 10:00am. A mid-day harvest at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project at Vassar Farm will begin at 11:00am with the harvested produce delivered to Dutchess Outreach’s food pantry and soup kitchen. The “Think Food!” day will culminate with a “Conversation with Fasters” at 4:00pm, and at 5:00pm a “Break-Fast” meal.

Throughout the day there will be various activities including performances, a craft project, an interactive art project depicting the “Web of Hunger,” as well as books, articles, and films about food issues available to any who stop by.

“Think Food!” is presented with the support of the Poughkeepsie Farm Project, Hunger Action, Operation Donation, the Vassar Greens, the Vassar Jewish Union, and the Health Education Office.

About the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (RSL) helps students integrate lives of passionate commitment, embodied practice, and intellectual critique at Vassar and beyond. The RSL programs articulate a lively public role for religious imagination and ensure that opportunities for spiritual and democratic formation are part of the demanding and creative education Vassar offers.

About the Hunger Action Network
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.

Vassar’s student chapter of the national Hunger Action Committee strives to alleviate hunger and homelessness. The student members cook and distribute meals at a local soup kitchen and shelter on a regular basis. They also give food, clothing, and toiletries to the homeless people of Poughkeepsie and New York several times a semester.

People with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.

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

Schedule of Events: “Think Food!”
Monday, November 23, 2009

10:00 – 10:30am
“Gathering of Intentions”
Main Building, Rose Parlor

11:00am – 1:00pm
Mid-day farm harvest
Poughkeepsie Farm Project at Vassar Farm

Food delivery to local food bank
Dutchess Outreach, Poughkeepsie

4:00pm
“Conversation with Fasters”
Main Building, Rose Parlor

5:00pm
“Break-Fast”
Main Building, Rose Parlor

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, November 16, 2009