NORWALK—On Saturday, February 23, St. Philip Church, in collaboration with local parishes andCatholic Relief Services, held its annual hunger awareness event “FoodFast – Be the Change” to help raise awareness and funds to eradicate World Hunger. As the title indicates, everyone was fasting for the entire day… what an incredible display of devotion to this very worthy cause! 55 middle school and high school teens from local parishes participated in the daylong event taking part in activities including prayer, reflection, educational games and service projects before concluding the day with Mass.
The St. Philip parish community is passionate about the issue of world hunger, and they have worked to alleviate hunger throughout the world by raising $360,000 over the past fifteen years.
Christian Mendoza from Person-2-Person, an organization in Norwalk and Darien, spoke of the local struggles of our neighbors here in Fairfield County. Through his talk and his video presentation, he opened the eyes of the teens to the reality of hunger in our own backyard. The teens had the opportunity to spend several hours volunteering at local organizations in the afternoon–Filling in the Blanks, Maplewood Assisted Living and the Open Door Shelter. The team noted that the service opportunities were an essential part of the day, because it’s important for “the teens to be aware of the different opportunities they have, to serve and to reach out” beyond this one-day event. The Fast concluded with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, presided over by Rev. Eugene Szantyr, the Pastor of St. Andrew Church, Bridgeport. Father Szantyr shared his experience of his CRS Ethiopia trip and spoke about the scarcity of water in Ethiopia.
St. Philip parish will continue to collect donations for CRS throughout the month of March. The parish hopes that even more young people from parishes and schools throughout the diocese will join them for next year’s FoodFast.
(Donations can be made by visiting the parish website at: www.stphilipnorwalk.org or https://crs.donordrive.com/team/5571.)