I spoke to Nadeem Modan ’10, Rachel Berkowitz ’09, and Ann-Marie Illsley ’10 about their work in organizing the second annual Fast-A-Thon, an event where participants fast from dawn until dusk, and donate the money/points/meals they would have used on food to the Amazing Grace food pantry. Last year, over $4,500 was donated and 250 individuals fasted for one day.
Me: So, this is the second year of running the Fast-a-Thon, right?
Me: So how did the idea of the program start?
Nadeem: The Muslim community used to have a Ramadan banquet every year, and then it just made sense to expand it beyond the Muslim community, because fasting is something shared by so many different faiths.
Rachel: And the goal of alleviating hunger is a goal shared by many different faiths, and, independently, a number of faith and other organizations contribute to the Amazing Grace food pantry. But this is a way of us all coming together on the same day to all fast and raise money together, as one big community.
Me: Last year, this was an entirely Wesleyan event. How did you decide to expand the Fast-a-Thon event beyond the Wesleyan bubble?
Ann-Marie: Hunger is a community issue.
Nadeem: There’s no reason not to.
Rachel: This is an opportunity to bring Wesleyan and Middletown together.
Me: So would you say that this whole event is about coming together in general, for communities of all sorts? Middletown and Wesleyan, different faiths, etc…
Nadeem: People coming together for a shared cause or goal, yeah.
Me: So you guys are all involved in the Interfaith Justice League. What other kinds of things does the IJL do?
Rachel: Well, in the past we’ve done…
Ann-Marie: the Interfaith Banquet during Wesfest…
Rachel: We had an interfaith film series…
Nadeem: And especially just coming together around issues of social justice.
Watch out for more details about the event to be posted next week, or join the facebook group for the Fast-a-Thon and Ramadan Banquet 2008, taking place next Thursday the 25th.