USFSM students will discuss issues related to hunger and poverty at the Oxfam Hunger Banquet, Nov. 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at USFSM.

USFSM, All Faiths Food Bank to hold Hunger Banquet on campus

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: November 02, 2018

SARASOTA, Fla. (Nov. 02, 2018) USF Sarasota-Manatee senior Cassie Benjamin said she’s hoping next week’s Hunger Banquet enlightens students about the plight of millions around the globe.

“I hope students learn that they should appreciate what they are given, especially when it comes to food,” the history major said.

To reinforce that message, Benjamin and others on campus are inviting students to the fourth-annual USFSM Oxfam Hunger Banquet on Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the campus café, to inspire support of food programs. Helping in the banquet will be the All Faiths Food Bank, a Sarasota-based non-profit that’s been feeding the hungry in Sarasota and DeSoto counties since 1989.

USFSM, All Faiths Food Bank to hold Hunger Banquet on campus

Cassie Benjamin

Attendees will be divided into three economic classes – lower, middle and upper income – and provided meals based on their assigned class. The exercises are meant to illustrate that while some around the world enjoy rich, plentiful meals, many more families subsist on meager portions that lack sufficient nourishment or offer barely enough to get by. Benjamin said tens of millions worldwide fall into this latter category.

“I don’t think many students realize how difficult things really are for millions of people around the world. An estimated 815 million people deal with chronic hunger every year,” she said.

The students will randomly select tickets indicating the meal they’ll receive. Upper-income students will enjoy bread, salad and pasta on plates with utensils while seated at tables. Middle-income students will receive rice and beans in bowls with utensils (they’ll have chairs but not tables), while lower-income students receive small portions of rice in bowls, but without beans or utensils. Plus, they’ll have to stand or sit on the floor while they eat with their fingers.

After the meal, the students will hold a discussion about hunger and go over some hunger-related facts, Benjamin said. Hunger Banquets are held regularly on college campuses nationwide. USFSM’s Office of Student Engagement is sponsoring this particular event, and an All Faiths Food Bank representative will address the students.

“We’re hoping they walk away with a sense of appreciation for what they have and show support for programs like All Faiths Food Bank,” Benjamin said of the attendees.

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