The Oxfam Hunger Banquet Brings Awareness to Hunger and Hardship Around the World

Gianna Jirak, Lifestyle and Fashion Editor

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America is one of the wealthiest nations on Earth, and due to that fact, we often take simple things for granted, such as food, clean water, education and some of the best medical care in the world. The Oxfam Hunger Banquet’s goal is to conquer that by changing the way people think about poverty and hunger.

On December 8, CISL hosted an Oxfam Hunger Banquet in the enclosed cafeteria. When students first arrived, they chose a character card out of a basket, which determined their demographic status of low, middle, or high income.  The card provided a brief description of the character’s life and determined where students will sit and what they will eat.

“Oxfam is an overall enlightening and good experience for its interactive nature and accessibility to those who otherwise would not be able to access such educational opportunities,” said sophomore Victoria Miranda

This year’s event began with the evening’s hosts, senior Ian Young and junior Katherine Reedy, explaining the process and showing an introductory video.

Then, dinner was served. The women of the low and middle income were made to wait for the men to eat first before they were allowed to go up and get their food. Those who were low income sat on the floor and ate a small portion of rice and ‘dirty water’, while the middle-income ate beans and rice with clean water and sat at a table. At the same time, the high-income individuals sat at formal tables listening to a violinist playing, while eating a full course meal including a cupcake for dessert.

Once the meal ended, participants were directed to a CISL committee member, each holding a different object. Each group had a discussion based on their object, ranging from shoes to stuffed animals.  One group had a book and discussed how literacy impacts a country’s development and poverty rates. Each group selected a speaker to share with the whole room.

Gianna Jirak
His group’s topic was a stuffed animal.

The night concluded with a short video, sharing hope with participants, while also encouraging them to do their part to ensure a better future.

“Every year I’m excited for the Oxfam Hunger Banquet because of how enlightening it is,” said junior Daniella Saforo.