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Saint Mary’s to host event to raise awareness about hunger

| Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Student Diversity Board at Saint Mary’s College will be hosting its annual Hunger Banquet on Wednesday, Nov. 14 in Haggar College Center. The banquet raises awareness about the poverty and hunger that impact people all across the world, specifically by demonstrating how meal sizes vary according to one’s social class.

Student Diversity Board president and junior Bella Tillman explained that guests to the dinner will be randomly seated at a table representing a specific social class. Tillman said the low income group will be have the largest number of students to reflect the relative size of this socioeconomic class throughout the world. The meals provided will differ according to the table.

“If you are in the low income group then you only get rice and water,” Tillman said. “The middle income group gets rice, water, lentils, and salad. And then if you are in the high income group you get a really nice meal.”

Senior and Student Diversity Board marketing chair Leslie Taubert said in an email the banquet is designed to showcase the prevalence of hunger throughout the world. She said organizers hope to expose attendees to the every day reality of many people throughout the world.

“The Hunger Banquet really shows how food injustice is a problem around the world,” she said. “Often, people are so used to the bubble they are in that they forget other problems in the world, so it is nice to take the time to think about the injustice and talk about ways to help.”

The Hunger Banquet event stems from Oxfam, a “a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty,” according to its website. This global organization encourages colleges to host hunger banquets on campus in order to “respond to global crises, highlight issues of injustice, and change the laws that keep people trapped in poverty,” the website said.

Tillman expressed hope the event would raise awareness and encourage students to seriously consider how they can contribute to the fight against global hunger.

“I hope students realize that we need to start doing things to combat world hunger,” she said. “I know it’s hard to know what we can do, but I think attending the dinner and educating yourself on how prevalent world hunger is doing something. As students, we are so focused on our school work and on what we are doing in our daily lives that we forget that other people in the world are struggling so much.”

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