Hunger Banquet fills students with a global perspective

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The Hunger Banquet teaches students that being in the top 10% is power to create change (Photo Curtesy Students for International Development].
The Hunger Banquet teaches students that being in the top 10 percent is power to create change. Photo courtesy Students for International Development.

BYU’s Hunger Banquet used its theme “empower” to teach students and faculty to face the inequality of life found throughout the world March 1.

Hundreds of students, faculty and members of the Provo community gathered on BYU campus to learn from the experience of the Hunger Banquet and select an organization to receive the banquet ticket sales.

The Hunger Banquet is an annual event hosted by the Students for International Development Club that teaches awareness of suffering around the world. Each participant purchases a ticket, and each ticket corresponds to a wealth level found around the world. The poorest level makes up the largest percentage of the ticket holders as they sit on the ground with beans and water. The levels rise until you get to the highest level or what many of us enjoy today. These ticket holders enjoy a full meal on a table with service.

“The inequality in this life is sobering,” said Jared Robinson, one of three presidents of the Students for International Development Club.  “We hope that the banquet unites people together in brotherhood and sisterhood and fans the flames of compassion in each guest’s heart.”

Participants at the Hunger Banquet used art to learn how they can become empowered to help those in poverty. Photo by Maddi Dayton.
Participants at the Hunger Banquet used art to learn how they can become empowered to help those in poverty. Photo by Maddi Dayton.

The event also featured an art component with professors judging both the quality of the piece and its incorporation of the “empower” theme. Winners received cash prizes and their submissions were auctioned off with half of the proceeds going to the artist and the other half going to NGO’s around the world.

Through their theme, the Students for International Development Club is trying to teach students how they can become involved in the club and issues around the world.

“I became involved in the Hunger Banquet as a volunteer project for one of my international development classes,” said Marianna Giordano, a junior from Wisconsin. “What I really like about the Hunger Banquet is that it demonstrates how hunger and resource distribution affect the world’s population and how individuals, especially students, can get involved and make a difference.”

Rajvi Mehta, a Duke medical student, was the keynote speaker. Rajvi is still a student, and also the founder of the Let’s Be Well Red campaign, which works in India to fight anemia, one of the leading causes of infant mortality.

“Rajvi Mehta was an incredible keynote speaker,” said Macie Bayer, one of three presidents of the International Development Club. “She shared her experiences about working and living in India with the audience and encouraged us to never stop seeking out solutions. She reminded us that we must all be life-long students.”

 

 

 

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