Area youth learned what it is like to not have food for 30 hours and raised money for those worldwide who often go far longer without.
More than 20 students in sixth to 12th grades gathered recently for a 30-hour famine at Howland United Methodist Church.
Cheryl Headland, senior high youth counselor at the church, said proceeds from the event go to World Vision, which helps those who are facing food shortages worldwide. On average, the local event raises $1,000 or more a year. Each participant is asked to raised $30 each, which is what it takes to fed one child for a month.
Erin Norton, a ninth-grader from Howland, adds her message on the ‘‘Wall of Faith’’ at the Howland United Methodist Church during a recent 30-hour famine activity with more than 20 area youth participating. The students took part in various activities to keep their minds off food to raise money for world hunger.
Youth were able to drink water or juice throughout the time but were not allowed any food, Headland said.
''They learned what it is like for many children around the world who go day after day with no food,'' she said.
Statistics are that every 10 seconds a child in the world dies from hunger, she said.
The youth famine effort is a nationwide event that takes places annually during the last weekend in February. In 1992 when the program began, 40,000 children were dying each day, Headland said. In 2010, the number was done to 24,000.
''Events like this are happening across the nation with everyone focused helping to get food to those in need,'' she said.
Rachel Hardin, a junior from Howland, said this was the sixth year she has taken part.
''It's a good feeling knowing what we are doing will help so many others. It has shown me what it must be like to be hungry,'' Hardin said.
The first year was the mostly challenging because she was not used to fasting, she said.
To keep the students preoccupied, there were many activities, scavenger hunts and games.
Headland said there is also Bible study and prayer time with the theme ''What is God calling you to do with the talent that you have?'' and ''How is God challenging you to make a difference?''
Shannon McClain, an eighth grader, agreed that taking part makes the teens feel that they are making a difference. McClain's first year was in sixth grade.
''It's fun to be with others who are also taking part,'' she said.
Headland said this is one youth event the students look forward to taking part in each year.