Our sponsorship guru Kristin Thomas participated in the Fast-A-Thon hosted by Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, the largest soup kitchen in New York City, last Thursday. She committed to eating just one meal that day, the same way many of the soup kitchen guests do. All money raised from sponsorship will go towards food costs for the winter - it's one of the soup kitchen's busiest times, with up to 1,400 people a day coming in for a hot meal.
Below Kristin shares her thoughts at the end of her Fast-A-Thon experience:
1) Did you reach a point when you thought you might not be able to keep up the fast?
Yes I actually had two points in the day when I thought about giving up or cheating. Around 11 am, I was hitting my breaking point and thought about getting ice cream. The usual thoughts rolled in my head 'No one will know. Or it's melted ice cream does that count as a liquid?' I was able to leave home and go into the office which got me away from all the food in the kitchen. My other breaking point was around 3 pm because that is my usual lunch break. I tried the coffee and water but really thought I wasn't going to make it. I started getting sleepy and just wanted the day to end already. Work was no longer a distraction and I thought I could just stop and eat something. I was expecting to have breaking points but they were intense. Thank goodness I was able to fight through it and I thought about so many people struggling with hunger on a daily basis. What does one day do to me when so many others deal with it everyday.
2) When did you have your one meal for the day? What did you have?
I had my meal around 6 pm at Cracker Barrel. It was the one place I know felt like home-style cooking and the side items I love. Around 6:30, I had a plate of fried shrimp, mac & cheese, steak fries, a sweet potato and a side plate of biscuits. I don't think I talked during the whole meal.
3) How did you try to distract yourself from hunger?
I used television and work as my distractions. I didn't have any human interaction until 6 pm so I was on my own. I had my great team at What You Can Do cheering me on and got funny pictures via email to laugh at. I also went for a short walk about the neighborhood to just get my mind off of the food and my thoughts of wanting to quit. It meant too much to me and so many others that I had to find my happy place in my head to keep going.
4) What did you share with family and friends about your experience participating in the Fast-A-Thon?
My family was behind me all the way. I told my family when I was breaking and wanted to quit. I was honest about how hard it was for me, especially since I'm a snack-junkie during the day. I also love my desserts and they knew that would be hard for me to not have sweets throughout the day. My family is very keen on my feelings and they were so proud of me for taking the challenge in the first place. I'm sure there were doubts but they never voiced them to me. I'm very thankful to my parents and Tina for helping me. Again special thanks to the team at What You Can Do produced by On the Leesh Productions for being my cheerleaders!
5) What were your thoughts/feelings at the end of the day?
My only thoughts were sadness and anger. I was sad to think about so many individuals and families struggling to get one meal every day. Angry because children should not have to worry about when their next meal will be. If we all work together, I hope one day we can stop hunger. No one should have to survive without food or on one meal a day. No one!
Thanks to Fast-A-Thon participants like Kristin, Holy Apostles beat their goal of $30,000 - raising over $34,000 to date. To find out how to use your social media power to fight hunger in NYC or your hometown, check the video below: