ASU students and community members from different cultures and faiths were asked to abstain from food and drink from dawn until dusk Monday to understand what it means to go hungry.
The annual Fast-a-Thon, an interfaith charity dinner, is hosted by the Muslim Students' Association. Members from the Oxfam Club, Sun Devils are Better Together, Challah for Hunger, Sikh Student Association and Muslim Liberty Project all collaborated with MSA to sponsor the event.
Sustainability freshman Gabriel Leòn said poverty is not just a political problem and it affects everyone.
"It affects everyone of all religions and cultures," he said."Having this interfaith event helps with the idea we are pushing."
Leòn also said he found fasting difficult even though he has fasted before.
Businesses donated to The Cultural Cup Food Bank for every person who signed up to participate in the fast.
Finance junior Sukhi Singh, a member of the Sikh Students Association, participated in the the Fast-a-Thon for the first time. He said he didn't fast, because the Sikh religion does not promote fasting, unless for medical reasons.
"We still wanted to participate and show our support," he said. "It's important to raise awareness, because we don't usually see the other side lives as we are always well fed."
The Fast-a-Thon is a national event held during the month of Ramadan that started at the University of Tennessee. The MSA at UT held its first Fast-a-Thon in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. The event also helped to dispel misconceptions about Muslims.
During the fast, participants are encouraged to abstain from all food and drink and refrain from negative thought and speech such as gossiping, arguing or inappropriate language. They were also told to focus on being grateful, generous and kind.
Participants were divided among tables before breaking their fasts. They were given icebreaker sheets which asked their favorite desserts, their experience with fasting and three things for which they were grateful.
During the feast, five speakers from all different faiths spoke to the crowd. Rabbi John Linder, Reverend Jim Mullins, Brother Kenneth Lewis, Permpreet Gill and Imam Anas Hlayhel all shared their views on the importance of bringing faiths together to serve a common cause.
Health sciences junior Sarah Syed coordinated the event. She said it took two months of preparation.
Her guest, Debbie White, met Syed at a charity dinner.
"She told me about the event and I thought it would be a such a great thing to go to," White said. "I support interfaith and peace among different cultures, and I also wanted to donate food as I might, as a low-income person, someday have to visit a food bank."
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Reverend Jim Mullins as John Mullins. This version of the article has been updated with the proper information.
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