February 19, 2019

Adelphi Hunger Banquet Raises Awareness About Poverty and Inequality

Hunger Banquet Cards

“Volunteer-led interactive events that bring statistics about poverty to life” is how Oxfam America describes its Oxfam Hunger Banquet. For the third year, members of the Adelphi community have the opportunity to experience what guests have called a transformational experience on Tuesday, February 26, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The hunger banquet is an interactive experience that teaches guests about food distribution and hunger throughout the world,” said Wendy Badala, director of International Student Services and the Interfaith Center, this year’s sponsors of the event.

As guests enter the banquet, each draws a ticket with the name of an individual who belongs to either a high-, middle- or low-income tier based on current statistics on people living in poverty, Badala explained. Each one then receives a meal that corresponds to their income level. The high-income tier is seated at a table and served a sumptuous meal; the middle-income section eats a simpler meal of rice and beans; and the low-income tier receives rice and water, which they eat while seated on the floor.

Participating in this simulation of income inequality is a high-impact learning experience, Badala said, in which “guests will be able to experience the extent of global poverty, the degree of inequality in the world and the interconnectedness of the three income tiers.”

“The previous Hunger Banquet was truly an immersive learning experience,” said Sara Cheris, a junior and member of Adelphi’s Jewish Student Union. At last year’s banquet, she drew the role of a person living in poverty. “Being given water and a small amount of rice to share with a large amount of people really showed the conditions that people live in across the world and makes you think about your place in [it]. Now I always think about how much food I eat and try not to create any food waste.”

In addition to Cheris and the Jewish Student Union, the following students and organizations are handling this year’s Oxfam Hunger Banquet:

  • Haleema Sadia, Interfaith Center
  • Sara Mohammed H Alharbi, Graduate Student Council
  • Marian Wong, United Nations Association-USA Adelphi University Chapter
  • Christina Sullivan, Newman Club
  • Zain Yusuf, Muslim Students Association
  • Abinash Kaur, SIKHS United
  • Maia Jones, Mosaic
  • Maham Mahmood, Global Medical Brigades
  • Kelcie Warren, Circle K International
  • Khang Dang, International Student Society

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