Daniel M Pallotta '83, chairman of Harvard's Hunger Action Committee, was riding his hike to the beach this summer when he came up with the idea to sponsor a cross-country bike-ride to raise money for Oxfam-America to fight world hunger.
"Fasts weren't a big enough opportunity for students to participate in the fight," Pallotta said yesterday. Now Pallotta's idea has blossomed into a project with a fund-raising goal of $250.000--which represents half of Oxfam's yearly national goal.
Oxfam is a development agency which works overseas teaching less-developed communities to apply modern technology to become self-sufficient.
The project is financially "a quantum leap beyond anything we've done in the past," Pallotta said. The group previously raised about $6000 a year sponsoring fasts in House dining halls.
John Maher '60, national director of Oxfam's Fast for World Harvest, called Harvard's project "very significant," saying. "It will be enough to fund 10 of our projects."
Pallotta foresees a group of 30 to 50 students riding from Seattle to Boston in a six-week period starting in mid-June. The riding team will stop in towns along the way to give talks on the problem of world hunger.
The team's contact with people along the route will be as important as the money the committee is raising. Pallotta stressed. "It's the perfect opportunity for people to find out what we're doing, what Oxfam-America does, why we support Oxfam and for them to make a pledge if they want," he added.
Dale Azia 86, one of more than 180 students who have expressed interest in the project said. I'm not sure if I could make it riding 75 miles a day, but it's a good idea--if people know there are 50 bikers out there for world hunger, that's going to create great interests."