By Dayontrese Boatwright, FSCJ Marketing and Communications Intern and Converged Communications Student
On Tuesday, November 13, FSCJ students, faculty and staff came together to bring awareness to the hunger epidemic happening all over America through the Oxfam Hunger Banquet®, hosted by FSCJ's Center for Civic Engagement and Student Engagement. This event uses its participants to show firsthand how the decisions we make affect others in the world.
When guests first arrive at the banquet, they receive a ticket that assigns them to a low-, middle- or high-income tier. How they are treated and the food they receive is based on the latest statistics of these tiers. The simulation begins when each tier receives a meal that corresponds with their income. Low-income individuals stand in line with many others for a small serving of rice and water, while high-income individuals are served by their middle-income peers. They received rice, chicken, vegetables, desserts and sparkling juice. All the while, the low-income individuals ate little to nothing on the floor in front of them.
Kelly Kaiser, an FSCJ nursing student, reflected on how this event felt so relatable to her everyday struggles. “This is my real life and these scenarios are so real. I’ve fluctuated between middle- and lower-class all my life and have dealt with the majority of these issues,” she shared.
Some guests received a low- or middle-income tier ticket, but through playing out various scenarios were able to move to the high-income table. Vonnell Baggett, director of student services for Downtown Campus, was able to earn a seat among the high-income. She summed up the event very profoundly. “The opportunity to change the lives of others is possible if we choose not to ignore the problems we see daily. Together, we’re able to fight poverty around the world.”
Attendees were asked to donate nonperishable food items to the FSCJ H.O.P.E. Food Pantry. Over the course of the event, 86.14 pounds were collected which equates to roughly 72 meals for our very own students who face food insecurity. FSCJ H.O.P.E. Food Pantry accepts donations year round. For information on how to give, visit here.
View all event photos.