Peter Fish swims againUpdated November 14, 2008
It’s the time of year for the color orange: The leaves. The pumpkins. The Peter Fish…
The Peter Fish—an orange plastic fish bank—annually invades Calvin’s campus late in October during World Hunger Week, this year held the 12th through the 19th. The people who distribute the fish, members of the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) in partnership with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), hope to raise awareness of and money for world hunger.
On October 12, SJC members passed out about 500 Peter Fishes at the Living Our Faith Together (LOFT) service. Students are encouraged to put them where they live, work and study and fill the banks with their spare change. The fish will be collected at the November 2 LOFT service.
The campaign will culminate with a “Broken Bread” meal at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4, in the Chapel Undercroft. The meal will consist merely of bread, and the students are encouraged to fast for all or part of the day leading up to the event.
Student groups working on the event, including the InterVarsity Mission Fellowship and International Health and Development organizations, will also be emphasizing AIDS awareness through the event, which will feature an individual’s struggle with hunger or AIDS.
Co-chair of the SJC, senior Rebecca Garofano, said that organizers hope the meal will get event-goers thinking about issues of hunger and poverty. “I think it is a great opportunity for students to give direct support to an organization that is doing some really great things in the developing world,” explained Garofano.
To generations of Christian Reformed children the Peter Fish— inspired by the biblical story of the apostle Peter using a coin taken from a fish’s mouth to pay taxes—is highly recognizable. Churches in North America have been distributing Peter Fish to collect money for world hunger for decades.
The Peter Fish Campaign at Calvin has been in existence since 2004. To Garofano, the campaign is effective: “Students are familiar. It’s a simple idea,” she said.
~by Katie Landan, communications and marketing