The Center For Diversity and Inclusion is hosting its eighth Annual Hunger Banquet on Nov. 8 in the Z-6 Lower Level.
The Global Hunger Banquet is a memorable and interactive event that showcases hunger and poverty issues.
“The Global Hunger Banquet is an interactive activity that shines light on poverty around the world,” said Doris Kieh, Program Coordinator for The Center For Diversity and Inclusion. “We are able to express the different levels of poverty through socioeconomic status.”
The Center for Diversity and Inclusion has been hosting the Hunger Banquet for eight consecutive years, being previously known as The Oxfam Hunger Banquet.
“We have been doing this event since 2011, it started off as the Oxfam Hunger Banquet and then we changed the name to Global Hunger Banquet just to focus on world hunger and to be more inclusive,” said Kieh. “We still use the Oxfam hunger Banquet format as a guide to put on this program.”
Although The Oxfam Hunger Banquet was introduced to UWG eight years ago, the program itself has actually been around since 1942.
“The Oxfam Hunger banquet originated in 1942 in Great Britain, and then the idea was brought to the United States in 1970,” said Kieh.
People who attend the event are in for quite the experience as when they first enter they will receive a ticket that will determine their socioeconomic status for the evening.
“When you arrive at the banquet you will be provided with a ticket, and this ticket will let you know if you are classified as a low income, middle income or higher income attendee,” said Kieh.
The Z-6 Lower Level area is transformed so that it can accommodate the three different socioeconomic status. They divide up the space and in one area they have nice tables, chairs and utensils.
“The event space is set up so that we have three different areas,” said Kieh. “There is a high income area and they have a full banquet with nice utensils, and also the choice of tea or water, the middle income attendees receive rice and beans, and the lower income attendees will receive just rice and water and no utensils.”
The ticket process is given out randomly and on the ticket it tells them where they are going to be seated for the night. This is further determined by how many people attend the event.
“We usually prepare for 150 people,” said Kieh. “If we have 150 people, 30 of the attendees will sit in high income, and then 50 will be in middle income and then the rest will be in lower income, because that is the reality that we live in.
“This is a great program, because it makes you think and cherish what we have and it remind us to feel blessed that we have food on our table and that we eat three meals a day because that is not the reality of everyone around the world,” continued Kieh.
The Global Hunger Banquet is not only interactive and fun but also motivating and informative. Students and faculty all over campus are encouraged to come out and get a different perspective of the world.
“This is an important event for students to come out to because it gives them an idea of how some people live and how to reach out and help those in need,” said Kieh. “Also during this event we discuss and encourage students to find ways give back to the community through canned food drives and local soup kitchens.”
The Global Hunger Banquet is also seen as a jumpstart program, because attending it not only motivates but also empowers the attendees to find ways to make a difference in their community.
“I think that sometimes we tend to believe that since we live in a developed country, we think that poverty is a foreign concept. Sometimes we don’t think that perhaps poverty is right next door,” said Kieh. “Poverty is all over the world not just in foreign countries but also in the United States.”
This event is an easy yet meaningful way to get involved. By continuously hosting this Hunger Banquet, attendees are increasing their power to respond to global crisis, raise awareness and change the unjust laws.