Banquet informs about prevalence of world hunger
THE SANTA CLARA
February 20, 2014
Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger and other preventable diseases such as malaria, pneumonia and cholera.
Santa Clara’s Hunger Banquet informed over 50 attendees on Tuesday that contrary to popular belief, hunger is not about scarcity of food combined with too many people. The true problem is an unequal distribution of resources.
The harsh reality is that more than 2.5 billion people in the world live in poverty, and 80 percent of the world’s hungry live in rural areas, making it harder for them to access food.
At the banquet, sponsored by the Communitas and Unity Residential Learning Communies, Oxfam American Club, Santa Clara Community Action Program and Ignatian Center, participants were divided into three classes — upper, middle and lower — and given identities to emulate a scenario of unequal distribution of resources on a smaller scale.
Sophomore Gregory Higashi played the role of Demitu, a 45-year-old poor mother of nine from Jello Dida, Ethiopia.
“This simulation is good for experiencing how people are treated differently because of socioeconomic factors,” said Higashi. “I consider myself more of the middle class, but (was) sorted into the lower class for the exercise.”
The upper class, representing 15 percent of the world’s population as based on the average per capita income of about $12,000 per year, was served lasagna, salad and garlic bread. In contrast, the participating middle class, representing 35 percent of the world’s population based on the average per capita income of about $987 to $11,999 per year, were served macaroni and cheese with fruit. The lower class, representing 50 percent of the world’s population based on the average income of about $986 per year or $2.70 per day was served rice and water.
The three classes did not represent any particular country. It is a common misconception that America as a whole is an upper class country when, in fact, about 46 million Americans live in poverty.
The simulation, presented in collaboration with Community Facilitators Ashley Waite, Kathryn Hackett and Faculty Director Sarita Tamayo-Moraga, stated that more than 25,000 people around the world die from hunger and hunger-related causes every day.
Presenters stressed that human rights are fundamental and non-negotiable.
Contact Naushaba Khan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.