Hospitality House of Boone
On the release day of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Appalachian students will be celebrating by fighting hunger in the high country through an interactive game based on the book series. The event will take place on Nov. 22 at 5 pm on Duck Pond Field off Stadium Drive and is part of Appalachian State University’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
The event idea was conceived by Appalachian student Chris Criqui during his sophomore year at Appalachian, where he was able to launch the program through his position within the Appalachian Residence Halls. Now for the third time the Hunger Games will be taking place and have been opened up to all club and organizations across the university and community with Watauga High School participating.
The program has grown significantly over the past two years and Criqui hopes for it to continue after he graduates. “I hope the model that I’ve helped start is sustainable and can continue after I’ve left. I work with a committee and some sophomores on the committee have shown interest in coordinating the program next year. I recently presented this program at a conference related to community service and civic engagement, so I’m hoping it will spread to other campuses as well,” said Criqui.
The goal for the Hunger Games is to raise 1,500 cans to donate to the Hospitality House and its Bread of Life Community Kitchen. At last count there were 1600 cans, which can be dropped off at the ACT outreach center on the Appalachian campus. Spectators from throughout the community are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the Hunger Games in order to sponsor their favorite tribute, saving them from elimination and keeping them in the games longer.
“What a bonus to have the Appalachian Hunger Games back again so soon,” states Hospitality House director of development Todd Carter. “With a poverty rate of 26%, 3rd highest in North Carolina, we are working harder than ever to eradicate hunger, poverty and homelessness in the High Country. Our community kitchen serves an average of 12,000 meals per month so every bit of awareness and assistance helps a great deal.”
Twenty-four tributes were chosen in a reaping this past Friday. To become eligible for the reaping a tribute nominee had to donate five cans of food to receive one tribute ticket. The more cans donated, the more chances to be selected in the reaping.
For the Games, each tribute will be equipped with a balloon and two flag football belts. The arena will contain a variety of markers, sharpies, and shields. In order to “die” a tribute’s balloon must be popped, belt flags removed, and shirt marked on by any kind of marker. Last person standing wins.