The Hunger Games book trilogy and movie focuses on a post-apocalyptic society where starvation plagues the nation. While those storylines are fiction, experts say thousands here in Central New York battle hunger issues every day. Now, local college students are using the popularity of the series to help feed their neighbors. Our Candace Hopkins has more from SUNY Oswego.
OSWEGO, N.Y. -- The Hunger Games series has taken the nation by storm and Saturday, SUNY Oswego students entered their own arena to battle for an important cause.
"It was two parts. One part campus event, one part charity."
Dozens gathered to cheer on the 24 student tributes as they went head to head, using foam weapons to take out their opponents, all in an effort to spread awareness about the real life hunger issues plaguing Oswego County.
"We have a lot of people from different areas coming up here and I think it's great to have them mix in and to understand what kind of community do you live in, you live on campus and dorm life and you don't really realize that there's a whole entire town around you that almost depends on you, so it's almost like time to give back," said Hunger Games organizer Garrett Wilson.
Wilson says he came up with the idea to hold an Oswego Hunger Games after finishing reading the book series and says he thought it was an ideal way to bring the campus community and the City of Oswego closer together.
Wilson said, "We feel like Oswego really needs that, we need to tie ourselves in with the community more often. The campus is kinda like separated and we really have to bond ourselves with them."
For the tributes themselves, many jumped at the unique chance to give back and to encourage their friends to do the same.
"I'm really big into community service. I did it all through high school. I was in service club and stuff, so I definitely wanted my friends to donate money not only to sponsor me, but to give money to the food shelf," said Hunger Games winner Devin Storment.
And while one student is walking away with the crown, the real winner is the Central New York Food Bank, receiving over $800 in donations from the games.