Virginia Tech Hunger Games to raise awareness of poverty and hunger
Twenty-two students will compete in the inaugural Virginia Tech Hunger Games, inspired by Suzanne Collins’ eponymous best-selling book series.
The Virginia Tech Hunger Games take place on Friday, March 28. The competition will begin with a costume contest at 3:45 p.m., followed by the games on the prairie field in front of Lee Hall on campus.
The event will help local children who suffer from hunger through Micah’s Backpack, an organization dedicated to feeding low-income school children in Montgomery County.
The resident advisors in the Payne, Peddrew-Yates, and New Hall East residential community, with help from other resident advisor coordinators across campus, are hosting the Hunger Games competition and related food drive.
Residential learning coordinator Bryan Rose is organizing the games and will officiate in the role of game maker.
“I did my grad work at Appalachian State University and during my second year there a resident advisor thought of the idea and executed the same type of program,” said Rose. “I wanted to bring it here since Blacksburg, Va., and Boone, N.C., have similar issues with poverty and hunger. The goal is to bring awareness to hunger in Montgomery County and to support a grass roots organization like Micah’s Backpack that feeds students in kindergarten through grade 12.”
Each Friday afternoon, Micah’s Backpack distributes a backpack full of meals for the weekend to 280 children enrolled in nine Blacksburg schools.
Closely following the competition structure of The Hunger Games trilogy, the campus was separated into 14 districts. On-campus residents donated food to be eligible for the reaping and a lottery system used to choose who competes as tributes.
Those chosen as tributes will wear a flag football belt, balloon, and a white shirt. If the flag is removed, the balloon is popped, or the shirt is marked, the student is eliminated from the game. With a donation of five cans of food, audience members can act as sponsors for a tribute, giving them new belts, balloons, or battle gear. The last tribute standing will be declared the victor.
The following list represents residence life communities competing, along with the number of participants:
- District 1, Corps of Cadets - 6
- District 3, East Ambler Johnston - 5
- District 5, Payne, New Hall East, and Peddrew-Yates - 3
- District 11, Lee - 2
- District 12, Pritchard - 2
- District 13, Oak Lane - 2
- District 14, Vawter/Barringer – 2
Tributes were chosen from on-campus residents this year, but students who live off-campus are also able to donate food. Organizers say they hope the games will increase in popularity and size in future years.