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FHS class holds ‘Third World Thursday’

Anyone who believes Farragut High School students are spoiled and unappreciative of what they have should have been in Wes Edmonds’ Advanced Placement Human Geography class Thursday, April 17.

Weston and more than 60 FHS students and teachers went the entire day on nothing but one cup of unflavored rice and beans in an effort to bring attention to the problem of world hunger.

Edmonds said the idea for the project his class called “Third World Thursday,” came about during a class discussion on world hunger in his third block class.

“We talked about a Governor’s School simulation where they divide this class up into groups and 15 percent of the class got as much food as they wanted, like a developed country, and the other 85 percent had to eat just rice and beans to show the global disparity of food distribution. In the middle of the lecture and discussion, a student was like, ‘we should do that.’” Edmonds said.

“The whole class wanted to do it and then my whole first block class wanted to do it, so it just grew into this thing to try and go one day on just rice and beans, just one cup,” he added.

The project grew from a hands-on simulation of hunger to a full-blown fund-raiser in one week.

“The students really got into it and really got excited. They wanted to make it like a fund-raiser and ask other students to help donate money to help with world hunger. The cafeteria offered to cook the food for us so we could serve it here at school and Mr. [Michael] Reynolds, the principal, said he was fine with the students asking for donations in classes, so this whole week we have been asking students to donate what they would typically spend on lunch,” Edmonds said.

Edmonds two classes alone raised more than $500 and by the end of the day the total count was $1,440.

“We are going to divide the money between two charities. The Heifer Project, which is a global hunger initiative that buys animals for people in developing [countries] where hunger is an issue. You can pick what animal you want to donate. Like if you donate chickens, they will give someone a group of chickens and the person who receives them promises that when they procreate, they will give the first batch of new chickens to someone else, so it starts a cycle; the person who receives that batch of chickens will give their first batch to someone else and so on and so forth,” Edmonds said

“Give somebody food and you feed them for a day, but give them the means and they feed themselves everyday.

“The other half is going to go to Love Kitchen because there are a lot of people going hungry in Knoxville too, not just in developing countries,” he added.

Edmonds said the whole idea was to give the students an idea of how a good portion of the rest of the world lives.

“Being in Farragut, they don’t want for much when it comes to food. I don’t think very many of them go to bed hungry involuntarily and I wanted to give them an idea of what happens in the world on a global scale. That is part of the goal of the class, to have them think globally and out of our little bubble of Farragut and Turkey Creek,” he added.

“Its hands-on experience. They are hungry and they are thinking ‘wow, some people have to do this everyday.’ My first block is already complaining because they didn’t get breakfast. They said ‘I have a headache, I can’t concentrate, I don’t feel good,’ and its only 10 o’clock of the first day. Imagine doing this every day for the rest of your life.”

Minh Tran, a student in the class, said, “I have not been very happy because I am hungry, but I know that I will get food tomorrow. They do not know if they will get food or not.”

Minh’s classmate, Amie Guo, agreed and added, “I have learned to appreciate all that we have because in other countries and other places people definitely do not get what we have here.”

If you would like to show your support for these students and their proactive stance against world hunger it is not to late. Edmonds has opened an account through FHS and will continue to accept donations for the remainder of the school year.


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