CSU brought awareness to a prevalent world issue Wednesday night by hosting the third annual CSU Hunger Banquet at Parmelee Dining Center.
The CSU Hunger Banquet was designed to “explore the causes of world hunger, through experiencing an interactive meal that powerfully depicts global economic stratification,” according to the press release.
Students, faculty, staff and community members participating in the event were given an income card upon entrance that included the name, short biography and socioeconomic status of an actual person living somewhere in the world.
Status was broken down into high, middle and low incomes. The status of the individual on the income card determined the meal the participant received.
Individuals with a low income sat on the floor and were served rice, representing the 50 percent of the world that lives on less than $911 per year.
The middle-income class was seated on chairs and served beans and rice, signifying the 35 percent of the global population that lives on $912 to $9,075 per year.
Belonging to the high-income class meant a three-course meal presented by servers, symbolizing the 15 percent of the world’s population with an annual income of $9,076 or greater.
“You can hear numbers and think wow, that’s a bummer statistic, but to internalize it slingshots people into greater action,” said CSU student Travis Hall, who started Seven Days for Seven Dollars, a program challenging students on campus to live on $1 a day.
Before all participants ate, facilitators read scenarios in which a certain number of people from one economic class moved to another, illustrated by participants trading places with one another.
According to Oxfam America, an international development relief agency, the root cause of hunger is an inequality of food distribution, not a lack of food.
The adage “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime,” was stated at the end of the meal by the presenters.
Then they asked, ” . . . but who controls the river?”
Information on hunger and poverty was presented throughout the meal, as were tips on how to get involved
“I think it is so important to realize there is a bigger world out there, and to be aware of the luxuries we have,” said Shauna DeLuca, coordinator for International Education at CSU.
The price of tickets was $6, or a meal plan swipe. The cost of food was covered by CSU, with all proceeds benefiting Oxfam America.
“A lot of people need to realize how hungry some of the world is-to come to something like this and actually leave hungry is powerful.” said Gabriel Manzanero, a freshman Equine Science and Pre-Vet major.
Staff writer Elden T. Holldorf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.