HOULTON, Maine — Students who are part of Houlton High School’s civil rights team have picked Martin Luther King Jr. Day to show the community that hunger is something that affects everyone.
On Monday evening, the students will hold a “hunger simulation” thanks to a $350 grant from the Maine Commission for Community Service. The team will use a matching $350 grant from Time-Warner to support local food pantries.
Christy Fitzpatrick, community adviser for the team, said the simulation will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at the Houlton Recreation Center.
“The simulation is basically a role-playing event,” Fitzpatrick said Friday. “Those involved are members of a town where a plant, which is a major employer, closes. Basically, the simulation shows that you can become short of food because things happen to you — it doesn’t just happen to people who have moral shortcomings or other problems. Hunger touches everyone. It is everyone’s problem.”
During the simulation, the students will work to get everyone who attends the event involved.
“This is set up so that you can do it with between 10 and 40 people,” Fitzpatrick said. “We would like to have everyone get a role and at the end of the evening we break up and debrief so that we can talk about what people have learned and what our next steps should be.”
Admission to the event is a nonperishable food item or a small cash donation, which will be distributed to local food pantries.
This is the first time the civil rights team has done this, according to Fitzpatrick.
“I have no idea how this is going to work out, but I think it will go pretty well,” she said. “We are encouraging everyone in the community to come.”