November 11, 1999 GENEVA, NY- On November 5, 688 Hobart and William Smith students participated in the campus' 16th annual Oxfam Fast by giving up their evening meal and donating the value of the meal to Oxfam America — a famine relief and self-help organization. In addition, Alan Frishman, professor of economics at HWS and Oxfam coordinator, collected $550 in cash donations from students, faculty, staff, and area restaurants.
As a result of the day of fasting, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will send Oxfam America a donation of more than $1,650. The Colleges wish to thank all who donated so that people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America can improve their lives with the help of Oxfam America.
“It's important for our students to recognize that they can make a positive contribution to issues like world hunger,” says Frishman. “And it's exciting for me to see that these events continue to yield such a high participation rate.”
For the past 15 years, at least $1,500 has been raised annually for the famine relief agency. Oxfam America funds disaster relief and a variety of self-help development projects carried out by indigenous groups. It seeks to promote self-reliant, participatory development among poor people through projects that assist their efforts to supply more of their own food; help poor people gain more control over resources and decisions that affect their lives; provide emergency relief assistance to selected countries; and conduct a development education program for people in the United States about the causes, challenges, and solutions regarding underdevelopment and hunger.
In the spring, the Colleges annually host an Oxfam Hunger Banquet, at which the Colleges' students, along with community members, attend a dinner paying $10 per person. At the Banquet, each person picks a paper out of a bowl as s/he enters and then gets either a steak dinner served at linen draped tables with candles and flowers (15 percent of the participants), a spaghetti dinner self-served cafeteria style (30 percent), or bread, rice, and water self-served and eaten while sitting on the floor (55 percent). These represent the distribution of the kinds of meals people get to eat around the world. The banquet also typically includes a discussion, a short film, and a speaker as well as some activities.
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