I am a Northwest Vista College student ambassador and I recently helped out at the NVC Hunger Banquet on Nov. 17. This was a great experience. They had a couple of sessions going on throughout the day. When I got there I was given a stack of paper cards that were supposed to be separated into three statuses. The statuses were high class, middle class, and lower class. When students came to the entrance they handed me cans or other items of food to donate at the Hunger Banquet. Six students were instructed to sit at the elegant table which had a nice table cloth and candles. If students received a middle class card they were to sit in the middle of the room with plain tables and chairs. There were more middle class students than higher class students. The third status which had the most students was lower class and they were to all sit on the floor with no tables and chairs.
The banquet spokesperson had someone volunteer from each status to read their card. The card contained who they were, what job they had, the location where they lived and other details. The spokesperson asked students how they felt about who they were and their income. Then the spokesperson went on explaining how hunger is “the silent killer” and that “every 4 seconds someone dies of hunger.”
Then food was given to all three of the statuses. Volunteers from the lower class were told they had to be nice and serve the higher class their food. A deli sandwich, cookies and refreshments was given to the high class students. Beans, rice, water and silverware was given to the middle class status. Only rice and water and no silverware were given to the lower class. After they finished the spokesperson asked everyone how their meal was. The lower class said the food was cold, but they ate it. Some of the middle class did not even taste their food. A student from the higher class group gave half of her sandwich to the lower class, but it was difficult to decide who to give it to.
What stuck with me is this phrase that was said at the event: “What is everyone going to eat today?” We get a choice of what we get to eat, but not everyone has that same luck. The spokesperson mentioned “they (lower class) do not care about what they are going to eat,” but what “they care about is whether they are going to eat today.” This is sad, but it is a reality. It is good for this banquet to give awareness to hunger and I am glad I got the opportunity to attend and help out.
– Jolene Rodriguez