The Hunger Banquet

Around the Thanksgiving holiday The Student Leadership and Activities Board puts on a program called “The Hunger Banquet.” This program’s intentions were to raise awareness of the growing hunger that effects the world population. At the hunger simulation attendee’s were placed into either low class, middle class or upper class.

The lower class participants were given the opportunity to sit on the floor and indulge in a single serving of rice. All of the participants had to sit in a single rectangle very close together for an hour watching the middle and upper class get better perks. All the while the clock was ticking and every five minutes was marked by 90 deaths by hunger in the world. 

The middle class had a more comfortable set up because they were placed at a round table with chairs and silverware. These lucky delegates were served however many servings of rice and beans they wanted. The food might not sound like much but the fact is that they could have as much as they wanted which was a giant step up from the lower class.

In the upper class there was only four of them representing the 1% and they received a full course meal that was catered to them by the WOU Catering staff. Since they were in the upper class they were allowed to do just about anything they want such as requesting music or extra salt. 

At the end of the hour a guess speaker came and spoke to us about the myths and realities of world hunger. How it isn’t because there is too many people or there isn’t enough food, or that natural disasters cause long lasting effects of poverty. It is because the inner market in each country always sells to the bigger companies and doesn’t keep the plethora of food in its own system. With this fundamental problem it is very hard to spread the wealth of food to the areas that are in the most need.

At this simulation I was personally placed in the middle class and now that it is Thanksgiving I am definitely more appreciative of a satisfying and heart warming meal. During the simulation I found the meal to be bland and boring. While I was eating it I was actually thinking about how much salt would improve the meal and when the coordinator of the whole simulation actually brought us salt it definitely did improve the taste of the meal. With these thoughts racing through my mind, the experience made me appreciate every single bite of the glorious dinner. It has also influenced myself to taking interests in volunteering my time over winter break to help feed the homeless or any other things they might need. During the holiday season it is the most vital time that charity’s and volunteer groups need help for. So why not go out into the world and volunteer a bit of your time. Even if it is only for a few hours!


By Amanda Summers

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