As an effort to stand against world hunger, over 160 children and teens and 80 volunteers from around Norwalk marched from The First Congregational Church to St. Philip church on Saturday. The majority of the youth will go without food for at most 30 hours. St. Philip Youth group has been leading the 30 hour famine for 11 years to raise funds for humanitarian organization World Vision.
"Church isn't something that's meant to be just in a chapel," said Norwalk High School Junior Mike Falbo. "It's something that's meant to go out into the world and spread throughout the world."
World Vision is an international relief organization that serves the world's poorest children. Groups were organized to represent 10 different countries suffering from famine.
"It's especially gratifying to see young people of Norwalk and the surrounding areas to take a stand because young people are the future of this city, of this state, and of this country and unless you get involved, unless you refuse to remain silent, this problem will not go away," said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.
"We you found a starving child on your front step, you would scream, you would tell everyone. Our theme this year is tell everyone," said Mike Pappa, St. Philip church assistant director of Youth Ministry. "We want the kids to know that social justice is important. That fighting things like hunger, poverty illness is important as is part of all of who we are and what we're supposed to do in this world and what's good."
The youth group had raised $40,000 in its first year and organizers say this year they're hoping to beat last year's total of $35,000.
"We also give money locally," said Pappa, St. Philip church assistant director of Youth Ministry. "We want the kids to know that there's not only hunger in far distant countries, but there's hunger right here at home in our own town."
Funds will also be donated to Manna House, Norwalk's soup kitchen.