Ordinarily, the Spokane Food Bank isn’t such a bad place to be.
But after more than 24 hours of going without food, a group of Spokane teenagers found it less than pleasant on Saturday.
“The food bank was the absolute worst,” said Becky Mason, 14. “The candy bars and suckers and cake mixes and frostings … it was just like, oh my gosh!”
Mason, who attends Grace Baptist Church, was one of 70 teenagers from Spokane and Cheney who joined in a nationwide youth fast that began Friday afternoon and ended Saturday evening.
Tens of thousands of teenagers throughout the United States went without food for 30 hours to raise money for World Vision, an international Christian relief organization.
“We’re the biggest turnout in Washington state,” said Ray Eickmeyer, an assistant youth director at Grace Baptist.
Teens from nine churches met at Grace Baptist, then divided into groups and cleaned, cooked, painted, and picked up trash at places such as the Ogden Hall shelter for women, Charity House and Habitat for Humanity.
“It’s horrible,” said Holly Simpson, 15. “You see a commercial for food and it’s like, `Oh, my stomach is growling.”’
By Saturday afternoon, many of the kids claimed they were no longer hungry. Others, however, gathered suspiciously close to a kitchen where mothers prepared a 7 p.m. meal of salads and sandwiches.
Despite grumblings, the teens said their fast was a learning experience.
On Friday night, they held a “funeral service” for children dying of starvation around the world.
“I’ve had to control my anger because I’m hungry. I’ve got to think this is how people in Third World countries live every day,” said Breeann Actkinson, 13, who attends Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Teenagers from these churches participated: Westminster Presbyterian, Cheney Community, Immanuel Baptist, Salem Lutheran, Grace Baptist, New Life Assembly, Park Heights Baptist, Messiah Lutheran, and Central Baptist.