Third Annual Hunger Banquet
On Thursday, Nov. 14, Pacific’s Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship collaborated with Second Harvest Food Bank, Pacific Arts and Lectures, Dr. Mick Founts, Bon Appetit, the Vaquero Foundation, Primas Frutas and Pacific’s Housing and Greek Life to host the third annual Hunger Banquet in the Grace Covell Residence Hall lounge.
Tickets were $5 in advance and $7 at the door, and upon arrival, guests were instructed to draw a slip from a basket that would assign each person an income level and give them the identity of a fictional character that represented very real hunger problems.
Guests either selected an individual earning a high, middle or low income. This would dictate whether they were allowed to sit at the fancy tables and enjoy a masterfully crafted five-course meal, sit at the regular tables and dine on a three-course meal, or sit cross-legged on the floor and eat a plate of rice and beans.
Three speakers presented their own testimonials about hunger in their lives. The speakers included Jamieson Cox, a Peace Corps MBA student who completed a fellowship in Nepal, Mike Mallory, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank (where proceeds from the event went), and Colleen Ethrige, a guest from the Second Harvest Food Bank who told her success story after being raisied in poverty.
The event aimed to raise awareness about global hunger. Currently, 2.5 billion people in the world live in poverty and 870 million struggle with chronic hunger.
Master of Ceremonies Brian Kiely dismantled the notion that hunger is about not having enough food. “Hunger is actually about power,” Kiely explained. The reality is that there is in fact enough food to feed the world’s population.
The event was intended to show the reality of the global situation at hand. A large portion of the world’s population lives on meals not much different from the dinner that low-income guests were served.
The room was set up in such a way that there were only two fancy tables, about six regular tables, and more floor space than anything.
This directly correlates with the figures presented by Kiely, which display that about 10 percent of the world’s population enjoys a high income, 25 percent earns a middle income, and 65 percent receives a low income.
Guests were given the chance to walk in the shoes of someone less fortunate than themselves and get a mere glimpse of what it is like to battle hunger on a daily basis.
Each person had the same chance of being selected, which reflects the reality that no one chooses to live in poverty.