BYU Hunger Banquet gives participants eye-opening experience

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To mark the end of Care Week, the BYU Students for International Development club hosted its 33rd Annual BYU Hunger Banquet.

The club partnered with BYU Sustainability and the BYU Ballard Center for Social Impact to carry out the event with the theme “Sustainable Hope.” According to event organizers, the hunger banquet is the largest student-led event held on campus each year.

The event kicked off with an Opportunity Fair where more than 30 organizations stood ready to show participants how they could serve the world and local community.

Club member Emma Mayo volunteered at the event and said participating opened her eyes to the issues people face worldwide, as well as what she could do to help.

“It really made me look at myself in my own life and see how I’ve been so blessed and how privileged I am,” she said.

Mayo said her desire to do more and do better grew as she learned more about the inequality that exists in today’s world.

“Ignorance is really alleviated when we educate, and that just comes through sincere efforts of wanting to love other people.” she said.

Following the fair, event organizers randomly assigned participants to either high, middle or lower class. Their class determined where they sat and the type of meal they received.

“It’s just that opportunity to be able to see it, like, firsthand what it is, what that inequality looks like,” Maria Flores, BYU Students for International Development secretary, said.

Flores said the event’s main goal was to help others see what they see on a daily basis as they study international development.

“We’re trying to learn how to do better, how to be better persons, how to do something in this world and make an impact.”

Seeing all the work that needs to be done can be overwhelming, Mayo said. However, she said change begins with a sincere desire to reach out in love.

“I’m just one person, but it starts with my voice. It starts with me educating other people and telling them about opportunities to get involved and just doing small little things to enlarge the love I have for other people,” she said.

The BYU Students for International Development club will donate all profits alongside any additional donations to the Utah Valley Refugees nonprofit organization.

Those wanting to get involved can explore the club’s resources or attend their weekly meetings held Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

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