Reader Contributed Schools

Hall Students Go Hungry to Fight Hunger

Students participating in the 24-hour fast pose with West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor and Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski. Courtesy photo

More than 150 students at West Hartford’s Hall High School participated in a day-long famine and raised money for Foodshare.

Submitted by Amy Shaffer, Student Activities Coordinator, Hall High School

On Thursday, March 1, more than 150 students at William H. Hall High School in West Hartford did without one of a teenager’s greatest delights: FOOD! 

Starting at 6 p.m., Thursday, students began fasting for 24 hours, raising awareness and money for global and local hunger in support of children around the world who go to bed hungry most nights. Hosted by the Hall Community Service Club, the charity event is the first of its kind in West Hartford Public Schools, and this is the second year of Hall’s participation in the event.

Last year, 130 students raised $9,000 through team fundraising efforts for World Vision, a humanitarian aid organization that addresses global hunger.

This year, the students raised more than $6,500 for Foodshare, a local organization with the mission of resolving hunger in the Hartford and Tolland counties, which was chosen as the beneficiary of the event’s funds.

The idea originated with Hall senior and Co-President of Community Service Club Jessie Xu, who runs the event with Co-President and Hall senior Brae Sullivan, as well as junior presidents Sophia Ellavsky, Hall junior, and Ashley Granquist, Hall sophomore.

After participating in the 30-Hour Famine at her previous school in Shanghai, China, Xu wanted to bring the same experience to the Hall community.

“I think this type of charity event resonated so well with me because it’s so interactive. Rather than only fundraising for the event, you are actually immersing yourself and getting the tiniest taste of hunger – a struggle that far too many have to fight, even in Connecticut. The extent of the global unequal distribution of food continues to amaze and disturb me,” said Xu.

The event concluded on Friday, March 2 with a visit after school from Jason Jakubowski, the president and CEO of Foodshare and a West Hartford resident, and West Hartford Mayor and Foodshare board member, Shari Cantor. They greeted and spoke with participants.  

Through a series of bonding activities during the fast, such as dodgeball and pictionary, the event also had the goal of bringing together the diverse Hall community for the benefit of one cause – fighting hunger. 

Students broke their fast at 6 p.m. with a feast that included food donations from Black Eyed Sally’s, Butterfly Chinese Restaurant, Noodles & Company, Trader Joe’s, Harry’s Pizza, and more.

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