After a steady decline for over 10 years, global hunger is now on the rise. On Monday, Nov. 6, Augusta University will be hosting an Oxfam Hunger Banquet, an interactive experience that teaches guests about food distribution and hunger throughout the world.
The event is part of a collaboration between International Initiatives and other university departments to offer to Oxfam Hunger Banquet as a campus-wide event for the first time during this year’s International Education Week.
Before the event, guests draw tickets at random that assign each to a high-, middle-, or low-tier based on current statistics of people living in poverty. Each income tier receives a meal that corresponds to their income level. The high-income tier is 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.
Approximately 815 million people suffer from chronic hunger worldwide, according to a United Nations report. This is more than the population of the United States, Canada and the European Union combined. Currently, conflict and drought have pushed four nations to the brink of famine, while others are facing catastrophic humanitarian crises where millions are at risk of starvation. In response to these ongoing crises, the Augusta University Oxfam Hunger Banquet is tailored to support and highlight the famine crises.
About 80 percent of the world’s hungry people work as farmers, herders, fishers or laborers in rural communities. In these parts of the developing world, women are often responsible for the majority of food production, despite having restricted access to markets, land and credit. Hunger Banquets bring these issues into communities across the nation to address the importance of building a better food system.
“I challenge Augusta students and the community to come out to experience this unique approach to learning about world hunger,” said LD Newman, assistant vice president of International Initiatives.
LeDarius Scott, president of the undergraduate Student Government Association and Arthur Takahashi, an employee in the Division of Communications and Marketing, will guide attendees through the experience.
Dr. Kim Gray, director of experiential learning, is looking forward to the event.
“I am very happy to be a part of the Oxfam Hunger Banquet,” she said. “I think this is the start of an amazing experiential learning event on campus that we will all learn from.”
The Oxfam Hunger Banquet will take place on Monday, Nov. 6 in the Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom at 6 p.m. At the event, the Student Government Association Freshman Council will be collecting non-perishable food items to donate to the Open Paws Food Pantry, an on-campus food bank for students, and the Golden Harvest Food Bank. For more information about the banquet, visit the Oxfam website. For more information about the event, contact Tiffany Takahashi.