While most football fans are preparing to pig out at Super Bowl Sunday parties across Long Island, one group of young men is going on a hunger strike in the name of charity.
Nearly 50 Adelphi University fraternity brothers from Kappa Sigma started fasting for 24 hours starting Saturday evening to raise money, awareness and food donations to support Island Harvest, a leading local hunger relief nonprofit.
“It’s just crazy how many Long Islanders go to bed hungry each night,” Alex Lucks, the chapter president who’s an Adelphi pre-med senior majoring in psychology, said during the pre-kickoff party for “Super Hungerfest.”
Lucks said the group raised more than $3,500 last year, collected about 900 pounds of food and hopes to continue growing prior success. He noted that Americans spend more than $50 billion annually on snack foods to watch the Super Bowl.
Jim Broderick, a retired TV advertising executive who volunteers for Island Harvest, said the group was already dealing with increased demand caused by the slow economy when Sandy added more seeking out their network of 570 soup kitchens and food pantries.
“It’s kind of an invisible problem,” he said of unemployed parents forced to cut corners. “Often what they cut back on is nutritious food for their families.”
Broderick said the agency served about 65,000 people weekly on LI before the storm and provided 8 million pounds of food last year—two million after Sandy. He added that last than 300,000 Long Islanders turned to the group for emergency food supplies last year, which was their 20th anniversary.
Kate Cartagena, an Adelphi English major, was among the nearly 100 students who gathered at the festively decorated Alumni Hall in Garden City Park to show support for her charitable classmates as various football-themed games were played around her.
“I think it’s really good that the Adelphi community as a whole can come together for a good cause,” she said.
Kappa Sigma breaks their fast at the 6 p.m., a half hour before kickoff of the Super Bowl XLVII match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans.