November 16, 2014

Oxfam Hunger Banquet Q&A

Emily Metallic is president of IU's Oxfam Club.
What is a Hunger Banquet and how does it engage themes of Themester 2014?
The Hunger Banquet is an interactive simulation of inequality as it relates to the global food system. The signature Oxfam America event began 41 years ago, and this will be the Oxfam Club at IU's fourth Hunger Banquet. The event is one of Oxfam's key outreach tools as a humanitarian and development organization that seeks lasting solution to hunger, poverty and injustice.

The Hunger Banquet touches upon several themes of the Eat, Drink, Think Themester, including the systems, distribution, politics and rights associated with food. Through engaging role playing, the Hunger Banquet allows guests to better conceptualize the reality of poverty and hunger, as well as reflect upon its implications and connection to their own lives. 
Where does the banquet locate the problem of food insecurity? Does it focus on a region?
The Hunger Banquet takes a global approach, highlighting food insecurity in the U.S. and around the world. Oxfam is a human rights-based organization, and believes all humans have much to learn from each other, regardless of nationality. The scope of the Hunger Banquet reflects its stance of international solidarity.
What consequences and solutions of food insecurity does the banquet present?
When one does not know where their next meal is coming from, education, health, and well being suffer dramatically. The banquet presents these individual challenges, but also its collective negative impact on economic development and political stability. The banquet calls for more resilient food systems that can bear climate change impacts, more efficient food aid delivery and improved social and environmental practices in supply chains of major food corporations. But most inspiring is its call for conscious, engaged consumers to use their dollars and citizen power to take action to create a better food system. 

The Oxfam Hunger Banquet will take place Tuesday, November 18th, in the Union Street Center Auditorium at 7:30pm.

Ashli Hendricks
2014 Intern

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