Tossing turkeys to end hunger
EAGLE, Colo. – The local fight to stop world hunger started at a slumber party in Eagle last summer. Eagle Valley High School juniors Hilary Henry and Beckah Stough may have talked about boys and the latest pop sensation, but ultimately landed on the somber topic. “We do weird things when we’re together,” Stough said. The girls didn’t let the issue die that night. They got other high school students interested and got the towns of Eagle and Gypsum to declare Nov. 13 to 17 Hunger Awareness Week.
The group of students have spent the week educating the community about hunger and raising money to help alleviate the problem on a local, national and international scale. “I feel like there are a ton of great causes out there, and sometimes hunger is almost overlooked, but it’s the No. 1 health concern in the world,” Henry said. “It kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.” The week started out tamely enough with high schoolers visiting middle and elementary schools to teach students about hunger and encourage them to donate a quarter to the George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. The program feeds children around the world for 19 cents a day. Because the meals are given at school, it also compels children to get an education.
“Nineteen cents is not that much money, and you know you’re helping save a life,” Kelsey Elwood, 17, said. Things got a little wilder Wednesday night as about 50 high school students and teachers got together to do some turkey bowling. Four lanes were set up in the Eagle Valley gymnasium and teams tried their luck heaving a frozen turkey at the waiting pins. Some teams got series, coordinating costumes and practicing before hand, but it was eventually the low-key Shinigama Squared – made up of students and math teachers – who took the title.
The $10 entry fees were donated to the Salvation Army, which will use the cash to fill Thanksgiving food baskets for needy families. The turkeys that doubled as bowling balls will also be donated. While Stough worried the frozen birds might not make it out in adequate condition for consumption, teacher Chad Slouiker was confident they’d be fine. “Haven’t you ever left a turkey on your kitchen counter for three days?” he said. “It’s fine.”The week will finish with two hunger banquets – meals where diners represent the division of wealth in the world and most get stuck with little to eat – and a canned food drive. The rest of the proceeds will be divided between food programs Oxfam American and Friends of the UN World Food Program. “I know I’m fortunate to be able to have a Thanksgiving this year, but I’m here because it’s good to know that you’re helping someone else,” Jimmy Velasco, 15, said.
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