In conjunction with World Food Day, Yale’s chapter of the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere organization spent Wednesday afternoon distributing orange ribbons on Cross Campus and raising funds for hunger and poverty relief in developing countries.

In addition to displaying pictures illustrating the devastating effects of starvation and disease on the world’s impoverished, Yale CARE coordinators sold Costa Rican chocolates and encouraged students to wear orange ribbons to acknowledge World Food Day.

The group intended to spark interest in the international effort to attack poverty and hunger in nations such as Costa Rica, Sudan, Bolivia and Peru, Yale CARE founder and director Lauren Thompson ’05 said.

Yale CARE Chair of Communication and Expansion Niyati Gupta ’05 said she considered the event was a success. Dozens of students visited CARE’s display, and over 100 chocolates — all donated by CARE member Randolph Cardona ’04 — were sold.

“Students were generous and concerned,” Gupta said. “Everyone took ribbons and many people bought chocolates or simply donated money.”

Gupta said some students were especially generous.

“Some [students] asked us to keep the chocolates so that more would give money,” she said. “It was true charity.”

Yale CARE members said the organization plans to sponsor numerous events throughout October to coincide with its efforts to contribute to the 2003 World Hunger Campaign. An offspring of Yale’s CARE chapter called CARE BUDS — Bringing an Understanding of Development to Students — will host a Kids’ Field Day to educate elementary and middle school students about international humanitarian concerns. A benefit concert, which was part of the group’s campaign last year, will be the culmination of the group’s fund-raising efforts.

“The cost is small to give people food and the tools necessary to succeed,” Thompson said. “It costs 20 cents to give a starving child a meal. Students were happy to know that their dollars in fact made a difference in other countries.”

CARE boasts a 91% efficiency rating, Thompson said. This means that only nine percent of dollars donated for humanitarian efforts are utilized for administrative purposes, she said.

Since its founding in 1945, CARE worldwide has amassed a staff of 12,000 and has provided hunger and poverty relief to citizens around the globe.

“CARE is one of the world’s largest private international humanitarian organizations, committed to helping families in poor communities improve their lives and achieve lasting victories over poverty,” the organization’s Web site says.

Thompson said she was involved in CARE prior to coming to Yale and immediately began efforts to create a chapter in New Haven. Last year the group became formally active on campus, and this year members said they look forward to utilizing the group’s swelling numbers to raise funds particularly targeted to provide educational opportunities in India. In addition, the group hopes to travel in Peru and to expand their program throughout Connecticut and across the country.

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