For 50 Kappa Sigma frat brothers, the 24 hours leading up to Super Bowl 2011 will leave an empty feeling in their stomachs – for good reason.
The boys will begin fasting Saturday at 6 p.m. to officially kick off the fifth annual Super Hungerfest, a "brotherhood bonding" event that's gone public to bring awareness to the issue of hunger on Long Island.
Kappa Sigma chapter president James Dillon, who hails from Merrick but now lives with a group of brothers in New Hyde Park, says the event has grown substantially since 2007 and has tried to get the community more involved over the years.
Financial contributions and food donations this year will support Island Harvest. This is the first year Hungerfest is teaming up with the organization and with more than 300,000 Long Islanders facing the risk of going hungry every day, Dillon says they're "really trying to bring it home locally with our fellow Long Island neighbors."
During a kick-off party Saturday at Adelphi's Alumni House, a representative from Island Harvest will speak on the epidemic. The public is also invited to attend the movie screening of Silent Killers, a one-hour documentary shedding light on the fact that a billion people in the world are hungry and 15,000 children die each day from starvation. (Entrance fee is $1 or one non-perishable food item.)
"This really puts the issue in perspective on a global basis," Dillon said.
Beginning Sunday at noon, the brothers will conduct door-to-door non-perishable food drives in Garden City, New Hyde Park and surrounding areas. The boys will then deliver all donations to Island Harvest's warehouse for a check presentation Sunday afternoon and help stock the shelves with their donations.
"This is the first time we've gotten ourselves physically involved with the organization that we're helping," Dillon said, "which is really, really cool."
The boys also solicited local businesses to donate food to help them break the day-long fast just in time for Sunday's kick-off. According to Dillon, several local businesses like , La Bottega and V.I. Pizza have agreed to donate spreads to the boys' much-deserved Super Bowl bash at the frat house.
To donate non-perishable food items and/or financial contributions to Super Hungerfest 2011, attend Saturday's kick-off party at Adelphi's Alumni House or contact Dillon at firstname.lastname@example.org.