Super Bowl Sunday, a day often celebrated with trays of chicken wings, 6-foot heros and pepperoni pizzas, isn't a time for self-restraint.
Now in its seventh year, Super Hunger Fest is a 24-hour fasting event that began yesterday afternoon with a nonperishable food drive and ends just before the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers kick off in the Superdome at 6:30 Sunday.
"You don't expect to find people on Long Island who don't know where their next meal is coming from, but they're out there," said Kappa Sigma chapter president Alex Lucks, 21, a senior from Merrick.
Lucks said the fraternity hopes to beat last year's record collection of 900 pounds of food and about $3,500. Members distributed fliers in communities around the Garden City campus asking for donations early Saturday. The money and food they collect will benefit Island Harvest, a Mineola-based food pantry.
Jim Broderick, a volunteer with Island Harvest, said many of the families affected by superstorm Sandy still rely on the donations.
"There are a lot of horror stories," Broderick said. "The mold has just ruined everything."
The Kappa Sigma donations will help support two of the pantry's most popular programs: one that supplies children reliant on school meals with backpacks full of food for the weekend; and Operation: HOPE, which assists struggling veterans, Broderick said.
To keep their minds off food, the fraternity brothers have a schedule of activities during their fast, including poker tournaments, video game competitions, table hockey and board games. They are only permitted to drink clear liquids.
Several members said Saturday that the fast will take a lot of willpower.
"We're in it together, so I can tell you for sure -- nobody is caving."