Youth members, advisors, counselors and parents with the Zion Stone Church in New Ringgold held their annual 30-Hour Famine recently at their church to raise awareness towards world hunger.

During the West Penn event, youth group members were teamed up in tribes to compete in various themed activities at the church. In addition to going 30 hours with minimal food, participants had to live with temporary handicaps, such as bloated stomachs, blindness, deafness and many other conditions found in third world countries.

The event, an international youth movement to fight hunger, is held every year by thousands of students and parishioners throughout the United States.

Organizers every day, nearly 8,000 children under age 5 die because of hunger-related causes. In all, more than 24,000 children lose their lives each day, most of them to poverty, disease and hunger.

On average, one out of six people in the world suffer from famine or starvation, while around 1.4 billion people have to survive on less than $1.25 a day. These and other facts were taught to the youth during the famine program.

Every year, World Vision distributes enough emergency food to fill 8,000 semi-trucks. Some of the activities held during the 30 Hour Famine included making cardboard huts, surviving a man-powered earthquakes, scavenger hunts, soccer and food sampling. The event also included a number of outdoor activities.

Most activities were themed around the suffering who are forced to live with a very limited amount of food or clean water.

For more information about next year's 30-Hour Famine or to make a donation, contact counselor Charlotte Haas Fritz at the church at (570) 386-5111 or visit World Vision's website at www.30hourfamine.org.