Oxfam Hunger Banquet Gives JCU Community Insight into World Hunger

On October 23 JCU students, faculty and friends gathered in the Tiber Cafeteria for the second annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet. Upon arrival each participant chose a piece of paper, out of a bowl, that would decide their fate for the remainder of the evening. The slips of paper said one of three things: Low-Income, Middle-Income or High-Income. Those who chose Low- Income were asked to sit on the floor. Middle-Income sat at regular tables and High-Income were seated, by UFWH club members, at special tables dressed with table cloths. Once all guests arrived they were welcomed by UFWH Club President, Mary Rideout and Business Club Vice President, Alberto Romano. Rideout and Romano happily introduced Francesco Petrelli ex-president of Oxfam Italy and the current Senior Policy Advisor. Petrelli shared a brief history of Oxfam Italy in Italian, while Elisa Bacciotti, Director of the Campaigns Department at Oxfam Italy, translated.

After their introduction Rideout took the floor, following the script provided for all Oxfam Hunger Banquets, she explained that the main cause of Hunger around the world is not too little food, but unequal distribution of resources. Depending on the income level, chosen at the beginning of the event, each participant was served a meal that reflected their income level. Low-Income received a simple bowl of rice and a cup of water, Middle-Income rice and beans with a cup of water, both had to proceed to the buffet line and serve themselves. Women were asked to let the men eat first, as this is the reality faced by 85% of the global population. High-Income participants were served a nutritious meal by UFWH members, consisting of pasta, bread, salad and a beverage of their choice. All participants were encouraged to share their own experiences and thoughts on what they were learning as the evening progressed. The event closed with a short concert featuring singer/songwriter and guitar player Riccardo Vitalone and singer/guitarist Handel Durham. UFWH and the Business Club collected 104€ for Oxfam before the evening was over, and the clubs look forward to working together and with Oxfam Italy again in the future.

Rideout and Romano would like to give a special thanks to Wendy Carrell at Oxfam Italy, Dr. Alessandro Signorini, JCU Business Department Chair and UFWH Club Advisor, Iva and her staff in the Tiber Cafeteria, Dean Merva, and all who participated in the event, without their cooperation and assistance the event would not have been possible.