Defying temptation, Clarke keeps the fast

Fasting for 24 hours is challenging under any circumstances, but Rep. Yvette Clarke’s (D-N.Y.) daylong fast on Friday had an added trap: Delicious food at every turn.

“Everywhere I went there was something tempting me,” Clarke told ITK.

“I went to a little birthday lunch for [Rep.] Gwen Moore [(D-Wisc.)], lo and behold her staff had set out a sumptuous spread of food in her office, but I couldn’t taste a thing!” 

The worst part? “Everything smelled like bacon.” 

Luckily for Clarke, she wasn’t alone in oogling Moore’s lunch: Her friend, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) was also fasting Friday. “Misery loves company!”

Clarke and Edwards are two of more than 30 progressive House members who signed up for a day of fasting to protest what they believe are the negative effects of GOP budget cuts. Members each selected a day, and a few overlap.

But just when Clarke thought she was out of the woods Friday, she stepped into a busy elevator following House votes. “Everyone around had the most delicious looking lunches!” she laughed.

As she prepared to depart Washington for New York Friday, Clarke said she’d probably have soup at midnight to fill her stomach, but that the experience had been worth a grumbling tummy.

“I’ve fasted with my congregation before, but this is different,” she said, adding that she would likely encourage her fellow churchgoers to consider fasting.  

"Right now, the “misery factor” has gone up in so many people’s lives. This experience reminds me that parents are going without meals so their families can eat.”