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Carson-Newman Hunger Banquet sheds light on world issues

Carson-Newman freshmen Richard Byers and Sarah Beth Maddox help prepare bowls of rice during Carson-Newman’s Hunger Banquet.

Carson-Newman freshmen Richard Byers and Sarah Beth Maddox help prepare bowls of rice during Carson-Newman’s Hunger Banquet.

(Dec. 4, 2013) – Students at Carson-Newman University recently caught a glimpse of the chasm between the hungry and well-fed. The experience was part of an Oxfam Hunger Banquet held in the fellowship hall of Jefferson City’s First Baptist Church.

Sponsored by C-N’s Community Connections organization, the event sought to expose students to a variety of hunger issues affecting people worldwide.

“It is an embodied, first hand lesson about the issues of food distribution and inequality throughout the world,” said Will Brummett, logistics coordinator for the University’s Bonner Center.

Oxfam, an international confederation dedicated to addressing poverty issues, provides a curriculum that allows groups across the world to participate in the same Hunger Banquet. The event attracted some 40 students who became living examples of the statistical distribution of food worldwide. Sixty percent were given alternate personas of low-income individuals, 30 percent represented middle-income, and only 10 percent enjoyed high-income privileges.

The Carson-Newman banquet showed students the vast discrepancies of food distribution. Most students received only cold rice and water served with no utensils for their feast, while a handful sat down to a three-course dinner.

“Students were challenged by the activity,” Brummett said. He described the students as “engaged and reflective.”

Held in conjunction with National Hunger and Homeless Week, the Carson-Newman Hunger Banquet also provided students the opportunity to donate money or find opportunities to serve their community.

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