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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

Banquet invites students to experience hunger

'Tis the season of celebrating together over food and drink. However, many Americans will be hungry and cold during this holiday season.

To combat this issue, the Saint Mary's College Student Diversity Board (SDB) will host a Hunger Banquet this Tuesday before winter break. Caroline Brown, chairwoman of the Saint Mary's Student Diversity Board (SDB), said the event is well suited to the mission of the College.  

"The Hunger Banquet is designed to raise awareness and understanding within the Saint Mary's community," Brown said.
"It is a great opportunity to experience what it is like to be placed in poverty. As a Catholic institution, our social responsibility plays a large role in the mission statement of Saint Mary's, as well as our diversity board."

Students, faculty and staff will take on new identities to give them a true sense of the struggle faced by the hungry, she said.
Identity slips will be given upon entry to the Banquet, placing participants in either the lower, middle or upper economic class. The participant's role will determine which and how much food is placed on his or her plate.

The Banquet will simulate each economic class and participants will be asked to manifest this identity throughout the evening.
Brown said SDB decided to go forward with the event because the members believe hunger and poverty are prevalent issues that are greatly overlooked at Saint Mary's.

"We hope that our participants will take a couple things away from this event," Brown said.  "First, as Oxfam International and SDB believe, aid alone will not solve hunger, education will. We hope that our participants will come out of this event more educated and aware of the implications of hunger and poverty, and with the knowledge of how to take action. Second, we hope that our participants will take away a sense of passion for helping those in need around the world."

In addition to the roles given, SDB will give a short presentation about getting involved through organizations like The Center for the Homeless, St. Joseph's Food Pantry, Salvation Army, Hope Ministries and others.

Brown said that although the content of this event is serious, the event will also be an enjoyable and educational.  "Hunger is not an option, so where will you sit?" said Brown.

The Hunger Banquet will be held on Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. in the Student Center Lounge.

Contact ChelseyFattel at