Partnering with a Purpose
I have always believed in Catholic Relief Services, its mission, and its work. So when CRS invited the Center for Ministry Development to partner in developing FoodFast for 2015, we said YES without hesitation. FoodFast is CRS' 24-hour interactive experience for youth which engages them in exploring issues of hunger while fasting and raising money to feed those who go to bed hungry every night.
Jane Angha and I found that writing FoodFast 2015 was a profoundly life-giving experience. Not only did we get to work with Ted Miles and the incredible staff at CRS; we got to create materials which ultimately help feed the hungry! Who could ask for a better project than that?
CRS was so open to our ideas, and our goals for the fast were clear: to help youth understand the issue of hunger in our world; to help them reflect on hunger through the lens of Scripture and Catholic social teaching; and to motivate them to take action so that all God's people have the food they need to live with dignity. And all of that was to happen in the context of fasting and fun. We knew that we needed to create a really good balance of prayer, learning, games and community. We also wanted to utilize social media in the experience.
We had some amazing things happen as we wrote. The theme of Enough? Enough! helped keep us focused on the reality that while there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, some still starve. Creating an interactive experience that would capture the imaginations of the youth while giving them a better understanding of hunger was really challenging—but so worth the effort. Other highlights of our work included having Fr. Jim Martin say yes to being a guest speaker during the fast via a video; creating ways the youth could tweet out their passion for feeding the hungry; and seeing the final product on the FoodFast website (www.foodfast.org/).
CMD is very proud of this collaboration. There are other options for doing a food fast, but what I love about CRS's version is how Catholic it is, how faithful to the Gospel, and how much it echoes the vision of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict, and St. John Paul II. Check it out! It could be a life-changing experience for your youth.