What is the 30 Hour Famine?

For almost 50 years, young people have been doing the 30 Hour Famine — raising funds and awareness to end hunger.

A fun and meaningful personal challenge

The Famine is a space where people come together to help others and grow personally — all while having a lot of fun. It’s a space to:

  • learn about global hunger
  • raise funds to help families in need create sustainable food solutions
  • take on local service work in your community
  • build relationships, working together for a common cause 

If you’re brand new to the Famine, learn more below and then sign up to get started on a great group experience. If you’re a returning group, thank you! You can log in to get this year’s Famine started.

What happens in 30 Hours?

That’s up to you. But here are a few things that could happen — based on past Famine events and on ideas in this year’s kit:  
QUALITY TIME TOGETHER.  30 hours with your friends — what an opportunity for bonding! Activities for church and non-church groups will make the time pass quickly — except over that really hungry stretch in the middle! 

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING. Feel something of hunger — while supporting those who experience hunger every day. Videos, simulations and reflections help expand your understanding of global hunger — and how you can respond.

SUPPORT GOOD WORK. You’ll get the tools you need to raise funds for fighting hunger.  This year’s Famine funds go to support struggling families in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

SERVICE. Some Famine groups use part of the 30 hours to help others locally. You’ll decide what works for your group, but you can find ideas in the Leader’s Guide.

A TON OF FUN. It goes without saying, right? One of the reasons groups keep doing the  Famine every year is the fun memories. Make yours an event to remember!

CELEBRATION. When it’s all done you get to celebrate! Take joy in the good you’ve  accomplished and break your fast together with a communal meal of your choosing.

And don’t sweat the details too much. Your Famine leader’s guide  comes with a multi-week  schedule to help you prepare for the perfect Famine experience.

From Canada to the world — with love

Did you know the 30 Hour Famine started in Canada?

1971. A church basement in Calgary. A 17-year-old girl. That’s where it all started. Now, it’s a global event.

Ruth Roberts and 14 of her friends saw the TV images of suffering children during a famine in Africa. They wanted to help and came up with the idea of a ‘starve-in’ at their church. “We chose to stop eating for a day and a half so we could understand, even in a small way, what those children were experiencing,” recalls Ruth. The group raised $600 for World Vision to help people caught in the famine.

"It was just so frightening and so scary," says Roberts, "I just asked them this one simple question: 'Have you ever gone hungry?' And all 14 of us shook our heads and said ‘No.’ I wondered what it would be like, and that's where the idea came from."

To date, nearly six million students have gone hungry with the 30 Hour Famine so that hungry kids overseas could eat. In 2017, teens in 14 countries around the world did the Famine. Pretty cool Canadian export, eh?