While many of us can sympathize with the idea of being poor and hungry, most of us are never able to truly see how it feels. The Hunger Banquet, which was sponsored by the Social Work Club, helped put students in those shoes. We were asked to bring either three dollars or three cans of food to join the banquet. So after collecting food from my boyfriend’s pantry, I walked over to Carter Gym. The gym was surrounded by plastic chairs; in the middle of the floor, there were three tables neatly set for supper. The tables were full with salad, a glass of water, a glass of iced tea, a chocolate mousse and silverware. (you’ll see why the silverware is important in a minute) After we handed in our food or money, we drew a ticket. This ticket determined whether we were high, middle, or low class. I pulled the low class ticket, which meant I had to sit on the floor, middle class got the chair, and high class got the tables. 85% of the 160 people who attended were middle or low class. This meant that the wonderful food on the table would only be enjoyed by a few lucky guests. I watched as all sorts of people sat on the floor around me, all looking a bit disappointed for not pulling the best card. After an introduction, it was time to eat! While I was waiting for the middle class to get their bowls of beans and rice, I watched as the high class was served plates of chicken, rice, and vegetables. Finally, after waiting for all the low class males to go, I was able to get my food–a bowl of rice and a glass of water. I got to the end of the buffet table to get a fork, and there were none… “No fork?!?!?” I asked, and a shake of the head was my response. So going back to my seat on the floor, I tried to figure out a way to eat with no utensils. It was disheartening knowing that what I got was so meager, and I had to watch as the high class devoured their chicken and desserts. By the end of the night, I was still hungry and could not imagine having to live hungry for a week let alone a whole year. The hunger banquet was a great experience and I encourage the Social Work Club to hold another banquet next year and for more students to go!

Written by: Joanna D’Ancona

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