The Harvard Hunger Action Committee (HHAC) tonight will begin promoting a dinner fast on November 15 to raise money for the international relief effort for Cambodia.
Members of the group will solicit student support for the fast and will seek contributions in the House dining halls at dinner this week, H. Luke Dones '80, a member of HHAC, said yesterday.
HHAC will receive a one dollar rebate from the Food Services Department for every student who agrees to fast, Carina Campobasso '81, another member of the group, said yesterday. Food Services spends a dollar per student per meal on food, she added.
Campobasso said HHAC hopes that half of all undergraduates will participate in the fast. The group expects to raise $5000 through rebates and contributions, Dones said.
"Sure I'll fast," Kevin K. Gaines '82 said yesterday. "I think that missing one meal is not that much of a sacrifice when compared to the ongoing ordeal of the Cambodian people," he added.
HHAC is raising the money on behalf of Oxfam-America, the domestic branch of an international relief organization, and of Catholic Relief Services, an arm of the Catholic Church. The funds will pay for the purchase and distribution of food and supplies for Cambodians in their nation and in refugee camps in Thailand.
Oxfam-International recently announced a unique agreement with the Vietnam-backed government of Cambodia to allow the distribution of food and supplies. That government had refused all foreign aid.
Anne D. Fish, assistant director of resource development for Oxfam-America, said yesterday her organization had agreed with the Cambodian government that only civilians would receive food. The government did not want the food to reach soldiers of the deposed Pol Pot regime, who still control parts of the country, she added.
The Cambodian government will distribute the food under Oxfam supervision, she said.
Fish added that Oxfam-America, which has raised $300,000 for Cambodia so far, does not usually accept government funds, but will consider distributing U.S. aid "this one time only because of the immediate crisis."
Fish said that universities supply approximately 15 per cent of Oxfam-America's income and added that Harvard's committee "has been one of our more active groups.