By Clare Ogilvie
Right now, 852 million people around the world don’t have enough to eat.
Chronic poverty, affecting half the world’s population, is a root cause of hunger with nearly 3 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Annually, more than 10 million children under the age of five die from disease and malnutrition as a result of hunger.
It’s statistics like these that prompted Erika Greenland to organize a “Famine Date” with her friends and colleagues at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The internationally recognized event raises money to fight starvation globally.
“I wanted to pick a volunteer group so I started that at work,” said Greenland, who completed the famine last weekend in one of the ballrooms of the hotel.
The event was part of an international youth movement known as the 30 Hour Famine, during which volunteers give up food for 30 hours to get a taste of what the world’s poorest children and families face everyday.
It was no easy task for Greenwood and her friends, some of whom, like herself, work in the Wildwood restaurant at the Chateau.
“A lot of us worked the morning that we had stopped eating and working in the restaurant you are constantly around food and eating whatnot and so you realize how much you eat when you can’t eat,” she said.
“So it was a very interesting exercise to go through.”
So far Greenland and her group have raised close to $1,000 through raffle ticket sales for World Vision, which sponsors the 30 Hour Famine event globally.
Raffle tickets are still on sale and prizes include a one night stay at the Fairmont, high tea for two at the Fairmont, gift baskets of treats from The Great Glass Elevator, movie passes, make-up from Lily, a make-up session at Farfalla and a haircut at Farfalla.
To buy a ticket you can reach Greenland at the Fairmont or call her at 604-935-7987.
The prize draw will be on May 1.
“The 30 Hour Famine has a lasting impact, not just on the children receiving food, care and education, but on participants who view their own potential to affect change very differently afterward,” said Debbie Diederich, national director of the World Vision 30 Hour Famine.
“Since 1992, 30 Hour Famine has raised more than $80 million, representing countless saved lives.”
Last year 30 Hour Famine raised $11.6 million; this year’s goal is $12 million. World Vision works in 100 countries, helping approximately 100 million people every year. Visit www.30hourfamine.org or call 800-7-FAMINE for more information.
It doesn’t take much to help a hungry child — only $30 a month, just $1 a day, will feed and care for a child.