Twenty members of a student-led charitable organization at Ithaca College are preparing for its largest fundraising event to battle malnutrition overseas — with the hope of doubling the amount raised.
IC Food for Thought will host its 10th annual Walk for Plumpy’Nut, a 5k at Cass Park on Oct. 23. All of the proceeds will be donated to Concern Worldwide, a nonprofit organization that redirects the proceeds to the manufacturers of Plumpy’Nut, a therapeutic paste enriched with proteins and minerals, said junior Jeremy Block, director of communication for IC Food For Thought. He said their attention is specifically on Ethiopia because of its high mortality rate among children. He said that, on average, the group raises about $2,000 each year from the Walk for Plumpy’Nut. In total, the organization has raised $25,000 from all of its events since it was founded in 2008.
“This year, we’re trying to raise another $5,000, which is double our average, which is huge for us for our 10-year,” Block said.
The group is planning to reach its goal by means of increasing advertising of the event through social media, emails to other clubs and posters, president and senior Rebecca Johnson said.
Food for Thought is a non-for-profit organization that hosts awareness campaigns and fundraising events to help alleviate malnutrition and boost the community’s knowledge of world hunger. The group was founded at the college in 2008, with a second chapter at Pennsylvania State University.
Block said tickets for the walk are $10 each, and for every $10 donated, one acutely malnourished child is provided with food that could possibly save their life. Groups of five or more receive a discount of $7 per person.
Johnson said the group plans to host more events throughout the year to raise money, including their Rise Up for Rice trivia event in December and their Oxfam Hunger Banquet in the spring.
Food for Thought conducts the hunger banquet by following the guidelines of the Oxfam America Hunger Banquet: Participants are given colored cards that indicate a specific income, with red signifying low income, orange signifying middle income and green signifying high income. The cards determine what kind of meal the participant receives: Green cards mean the participant gets a high–class meal, and orange and red cards signify lower–class meals. Treasurer and junior Tra Nguyen said participating in the hunger banquet her freshman year helped her gain sympathy for those living with lower incomes.
“I got low income, and I had to sit on the floor,” Nguyen said. “It was so far away, and the high–class people get served food, and they get to sit at a table. It made me feel kind of different. Less privileged.”
Junior Nicole Bond, vice president of special events, said she has the responsibility of leading and organizing the events that Food for Thought hosts with the goal of involving as much of the campus community as possible.
“I hope that we are able to reach a lot of people, and spread awareness of the event and how others can get involved,” Bond said. “We are taking Food for Thought and giving people food for thought.”