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Fast next Thursday to help make a difference

Next week (November 18-22) is MIT Hunger Awareness Week. The highlight of the week is the 10th annual Oxfam Fast for a World Harvest on Thursday November 21. The event is sponsored by the MIT Hunger Action Group and the Chaplaincies of MIT.

Over the past year we have become more aware of the devastating famine that has affected much of the African continent. In response to this, disaster relief agencies have provided a huge influx of food and medical aid. This aid has helped relieve starvation for millions of those affected by the drought. The root causes of hunger, however, -- war, environmental imbalance, debt, and government policies that do not emphasize self sufficiency in food production -- are still there. Long term agricultural, educational, and economic development programs that will help make Africans more self sufficient are essential if the effects of future droughts are to be minimzed.

This year, as in previous years, the fast emphasizes our support not only for famine relief, but also for the long term, grassroots development projects that Oxfam America (the Boston based, non profit, international development agency) sponsors around the world. On Thursday we ask you to fast -- missing one meal or all three -- and donate the money you would have spent on food to this cause. Your money wiil be used, for example, in Ethiopia, to provide drought relief; in addition to this, it will sponsor well building projects (using local technology), and seed distribution. In Burkino Fasso (formerly Upper Volta), funds support expansion of savings and credit associations in rural areas, which helps to improve local agriculture. Renovation and development of small-scale irrigation systems in rural villages along with a literacy program for women is sponsored in Cape Verde.

Last year, over nine hundred MIT community members participated in the fast, raising over $4500. Once again, we invite the MIT community to participate in this worthwhile effort. Working together, we can make a difference by helping the hard working men and women of the Third World change the conditions which leave them and their children hungry.

To sign up for the fast, to donate Food Service (meal plan) points or money, please stop by the booth in Lobby 10 today and during the next week (Nov. 18-22). Watch for other events which will take place throughout Hunger Awareness Week.

Eugene R. Chamberlain->

Associate Dean for Student Affairs->

Willard Johnson->

Professor of Political Science->

Melvin King->

Adjunct Professor of Urban->

Studies and Planning->

Shirley M. McBay->

Dean for Student Affairs->

Louis Menand III->

Senior Lecturer, Political Science->

Father Bob O'Donnell->

The Rev. Scott Paradise->

Rabbi Daniel Shevitz->

The Rev. Susan P. Thomas->

The MIT Hunger Action Group->

(Editor's note: The Tech received this letter addressed to the members of the MIT community.)