Hunger Banquet Slated November 16
A recent United Nations report found more than one billion people around the world
are malnourished, subsisting on simple grains like rice.
October 29, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – A greater understanding of the world’s struggles with hunger will
be the focus of the Illinois Wesleyan University annual Hunger Banquet, which will
be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Monday, November 16 in the Davidson Room at the Memorial
Center (104 E. University St., Bloomington).
The event is open to Illinois Wesleyan students, faculty and staff, but seating is
limited to the first 50 people. Tickets are five dollars each, and can be obtained
by calling (309) 556-3374. Ticket proceeds will be donated to Crop Hunger Walk.
The object of the banquet is to educate participants about food inequality throughout
the world, said one of the Hunger Banquet organizers Laurine Brown, co-chair of the
University’s Development Studies Team for the International Studies Program, which
is sponsoring the event. “What you eat depends upon where you live and what opportunities
you have,” said Brown.
The banquet, which started at Illinois Wesleyan in 2003, is patterned after the original
Hunger Banquet, first conceived by the world charity organization, Oxfam International.
Hunger Banquet participants are given a nametag with the identity of a person who
lives somewhere in the world, and seating is assigned by socio-economic status. “A
person can either be low-, middle- or high-income,” said Brown. “The number of people
in each status reflects the percentage of people throughout the world who live each
day in poverty or wealth.”
The evening’s menu also is representative of what is available to the individual in
his or her income bracket, ranging from a simple meal of rice and water for the poor
to a sumptuous full-course meal for the wealthy. “A majority of the world lives in
poverty, so many people are looking at a dinner of very simple staples,” said Brown,
adding that stories will be shared by Illinois Wesleyan students about the individuals
who diners will be representing.
The Development Studies Team hopes the event will bring home the stark reality of
the growing problem food injustice in the world. A recent United Nations report finds
that more than one billion people are malnourished and the numbers are rising. “The
evening will really put into perspective what the world eats, and will get people
thinking about food inequality,” Brown said. “I can’t promise everyone will walk away
with a full belly, but they will be full of knowledge.”
For further information on the international Hunger Banquet movement, visit the Hunger
Banquet Web site.
Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960