A New Millennium: Children in Africa Hunger Banquet

On April 12, 2011, the Honors College in conjunction with Golden Key International Honor Society, Psychology of Civic Engagement (PSY 233), Campus Crusade for Christ, Pace Inspirational Praise Ensemble, Omega Phi Beta, Future Educators of America, and Students of Caribbean Awareness, held the annual Hunger Banquet in the Gottesman Room of Kessel Student Center.  The goal of the dinner was to learn about the effects of poverty and hunger on the children in Africa from the United Nations Millennium Development Project. 

Students were separated by tables into different economic groups.  The smallest group represented the wealthy who had their tables covered with tablecloths, flowers, and an appetizer ready upon their arrival.  The next group represented the middle class and their tables were less extravagant.  They had tablecloths but no flowers or appetizers. The largest group represented the poor majority.  These tables were in no way embellished and did not have any food on them.  They were all the way in the back of the room whereas the tables that represented the wealthy were in the front of the room and had the best view of the speakers. 

The presentations started with students in Professor Walther's Psychology of Civic Engagement class.  The students educated the audience by relating facts about hunger and its effect on the world.  Their presentations were thorough, including fact sheets for each participant and visuals that brought to life the devastating statistics about world hunger.  The students were followed by speakers from the Food Bank for Westchester and World Vision Organization, officials who work on the local, national, and global levels to combat hunger.  The speakers reinforced the statements made earlier by the students and also related ways that students could become involved in the fight against hunger.  Volunteering at local soup kitchens, working with organizations such as UNICEF, and donating to groups that are dedicated to putting an end to hunger were all cited as ways for students to become active.

After the presentations, participants were able to feast on various types of food, all donated by local vendors who support the Hunger Banquet and its mission.  All proceeds from the event were donated to the United States Fund for UNICEF.