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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

Hunger Banquet raises awareness of poverty

hunger banquet by caitlyn jordan
Caitlyn Jordan
With the upcoming holidays, many families will gather around a table and enjoy a feast together, but some families will have little to no food on their tables.

The 10th annual Hunger Banquet was held at Saint Mary’s on Tuesday evening to raise awareness about hunger and poverty.

Saint Mary's Student Diversity Board (SDB) president Callie Brown said her department's goals were to emphasize the challenges of poverty in local and international communities.

“The purpose of the hunger banquet is to raise awareness about poverty and hunger around the world and to provide resources for the community to get involved and give back," Brown said.

SDB sponsored this not so ordinary dinner, which was a part of the Board's goals in highlighting diversity on campus.

Students, faculty and staff drew slips of paper and played different roles at the banquet, according to a press release. One person could be a millionaire, and another could be a single parent working three jobs, barely able to make rent. Once in a role, each participant is categorized into one of three social classes: lower, middle and upper class.

The designated class on each slip of paper determines how much food is on his or hers plate, the press release stated.

Senior Madison Maidment said the banquet was an eye-opening experience.

“The banquet is an opportunity for students to get a feel for the life of those less fortunate, especially when it comes to issues of poverty and justice,” Maidment said. “The hands-on experience helps people better understand those who may not have the same opportunities. Not everyone has a meal plan.”

The event was small yet informative, sophomore Erin Hart said.

“It was really cool to talk about hunger and poverty not only in our local community but also worldwide,” Hart said. “I also liked hearing about the different ways the community can give back to those less fortunate.”

Brown said the Hunger Banquet was a powerful event and she hopes that Saint Mary's students will contact the Office of Civil and Social Concerns if they would like to get involved in this annual event.

“This event, to me, is a sign of solidarity with those who live in poverty and do not have the same access as resources as many in the Saint Mary's community do,” Brown said.