27th annual BYU Hunger Banquet raises over $16,000 for refugees

Students for International Development
Members of the Students for International Development club take part in the 27th annual Hunger Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 25.

BYU clubs raised over $16,000 at BYU’s 27th annual Hunger Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 25.

The proceeds will be donated to three organizations working to cater to the needs of refugees, according to the 27th Anniversary Hunger Banquet website.

“At first, we thought the proceeds would go just to one organization, but when everyone voted, it was a three way tie,” co-president of the Students for International Development club Laura Boyer said. “The awarded organizations were Women of the World, Catholic Community Services and Spice Kitchen.”

BYU dining services donated all of the food for the event and many on-campus groups, such as the Kennedy Center and the Ballard Center, provided funding and resources to help make the event happen. The Sorenson Legacy Foundation also pledged to match money raised on ticket sales.

Boyer, a political science major, said while raising money for these organizations was part of Students for International Development’s goal, the goal was two fold.

“Along with the goal to raise $16,000 for nonprofits in our community, we also wanted to impact students’ views on refugees and help students become more involved in their community,” Boyer said. “I like to think we did impact students. However, we will need to send out a survey to see how actions changed.”

There were also many people who volunteered at the banquet. Pre-management sophomore Isaac Banks decided to get involved with Students for International Development and volunteer at the Hunger Banquet because of his time spent living abroad.

Banks has lived in Mozambique, Brazil and Poland. His father also served two tours in Afghanistan as a member of the foreign service and was involved in the struggle for women’s rights within the country.

“Throughout the time I have spent abroad, I have gained a deep love and respect for all human beings independent of religion, culture, nationality or ethnicity,” Banks said. “We are all brothers and sisters and deserve the same happiness, security, prosperity and respect.”

Along with the dinner featuring first, second and third-class meals, the banquet also included music, dancing and a speech by Nathanael Molle from the association Singa France.

Molle talked about the ways people view those with refugees status. According to Molle, migrants are viewed as villains or those to be pitied. He said both of these perspectives can be dangerous, and said to view refugees as people instead of viewing them as those who hurt the economy or those who need pity.

“Overall, the event went really well,” Boyer said. “It was a really fun, well attended event. I believe (the Hunger Banquet) is a powerful event that has the potential to change students’ perspectives and inspire them to be more involved in their community.”

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