I made it through my 3 day water-only fast with the help of my friend Mara who did it also. It was hard. At times I was light-headed, nauseous, unable to regulate my body temperature (I wore a long sleeved shirt & a hooded sweatshirt when Mara & I went for a walk in 80+ degree weather, then that night I was so hot I couldn’t sleep). I was grumpy & I had a headache most of the time. I was constantly thirsty even though I drank a lot of water every day & my eyes were painfully dry. I noted that my cognitive capacity slowed. It was difficult to concentrate & I was much slower than usual at number & comprehension games like Kakuro & memory games; I couldn’t concentrate to read for more than several paragraphs.
Of course my experience wasn’t like that of an actual food insecure person who doesn’t know where her next meal will come from (Those most affected by hunger in the U.S. are women & children.). I knew I could eat anytime I decided to. I also know that because I’d never really been hungry before, my experience was different than that of someone with chronic hunger. I thought about food constantly; I dreamed about food; my sense of smell was heightened. I smelled food everywhere.
Tonight we broke our fast at a lovely buffet at Picadilly followed by a movie. But in these 3 days I have learned so much. We’re not done though. We’re going to eat “normally” for several days, then we, along with my daughter & some other friends are going to eat on $4 a day (what food stamps provide). This will likely be more challenging than usual as food prices continue to rise. We invite you to join us.
Did you know that if the budget cuts pass 157,000 American children will lose nutrition support from Head Start programs? Not only will they lose support proven to help them perform better in school, they will also be at greater risk of hunger, obesity & malnutrition. I’ll write more about these issues later. None of this is ok with me. In fact, I think it’s immoral that anyone should suffer food insecurity & hunger in the U.S. (or anywhere in the world for that matter). Did you know that an estimated 50 million Americans go to bed hungry every day? This is unacceptable. We invite you to join us if you’d like as we continue to raise our awareness of hunger.
Three things Ambassador Tony Hall recommends on his hunger site: www:HungerFast.org
PRAY: Commit to reflection and prayer at least once per week for the Hunger Fast and for those who will be hurt by Congress’ proposed budget cuts.
FAST: Participate in the Hunger Fast by skipping a meal every day, abstaining from solid food one day per week, or forgoing solid food altogether.
LIVE ON LESS: Stand with 2.1 billion people who survive on less that $2 per day by limiting your food consumption to $2 daily. Or take the food stamp challenge at $4 per day.
This is such an important issue for our nation. I hope you will join me.