Nick Germscheid was among the teens who increased their awareness of the many people in the United States and around the world who are hungry every day.
"You think you've experienced hunger, but you haven't," Germscheid said. "These people face it every day."
Beyond learning about hunger, the teens also wanted to help feed homeless people.
From noon last Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday, youth from All Saints and Zion Lutheran churches in Cottage Grove did not eat while they did community service activities. Their work ended at All Saints, where they assembled more than 600 sandwiches for homeless people. The food was to be distributed though "363," a Minneapolis-based program that feeds people every day of the year except Christmas and Thanksgiving when the homeless get food from other charity organizations.
The teens, shepherded by Bill Helker, an All Saints pastor, and Jeff Getty from Zion, participated in teams to assemble and package the sandwiches made with white bread, cheese and turkey bologna. After each sandwich was assembled, the youth inserted a note stating: "We prayed for you while we made your sandwich. Jesus loves you."
The 30-hour fast and community service stint was a project under World Vision, a humanitarian organization formed in 1950 to create awareness of world hunger. Churches that participated chose and organized the activities for their youth, according to Helker.
Adult members of both churches assembled the trays of sandwich contents.
"Some of us don't realize how lucky we are," said Marissa Roen. At about 3 p.m., Saturday she said she was looking forward to the supper of sloppy Joes that the adults were preparing for the youth.
Kayla Hanson also said she was hungry.
"But at least we have homes to go to," she said.