SWAHP Indiscriminate Hunger awareness campaign features hunger banquet

Natasha Pugh

Students’ War Against Hunger
and Poverty facilitated an Oxfam
hunger banquet to promote awareness
of the global issue of hunger
and poverty Thursday, Oct. 29.
Information and materials for the
banquet were provided by Oxfam,
a nongovernmental organization
that looks for long-term solutions to
injustice and poverty globally.
Entering banquet guests randomly
selected a card, which stated his
or her socioeconomic status for the
evening. The high-income guests sat
at a table with a place setting and
had lasagna as their main course,
the middle-income guests were given
eating utensils, a chair, and a bowl
of rice and beans to eat, and the lowincome
groups were given floor seating,
a bowl of rice and no utensils.
The proportions of wealth in
the banquet were divided unevenly
with the wealthy being the minority
and the poor being the majority.
This division expressed the unfair
distribution of wealth globally. Over
a billion people live in poverty globally,
while 37 million Americans are
poverty stricken.
The banquet offered a unique
education experience, allowing
Lawrence students to assimilate the
challenges of hunger and poverty.
SWAHP’s Co-president Chelsey Sand
expressed her opinion of the effectiveness
and purpose of the banquet.
“Lawrence students live in a bubble,
[and] the hunger banquet gives
students exposure by assimilating a
real world hunger experience,” she
The banquet also featured
speaker Jill Mitchler, the Emergency
Shelter of the Fox Valley’s
Coordinator of Funds Development
and Volunteering. Mitchler was very
supportive of what SWAHP has done
on campus and discussed what the
emergency shelter has done what
can students can do to volunteer
with them to be involved in the
Appleton Community.
The banquet was one of many
themed events of the week to promote
the Indiscriminate Homelessness
Awareness Campaign. SWAHP kicked
off its campaign by writing letters to
activists and leaders that have supported
the awareness of the issues of
hunger and poverty such as Senator
Herb Kohl, State Assemblyman
Penny Bernard Schaber, 57th district,
and Representative Steve Kagen, 8th
SWAHP hosted the Sierra Leone
Concert, which included student
performers and a 50-50 raffle. Half
of the proceeds of the raffle went
to SWAHP to aid in funds for their
travel to Sierra Leone over the winter
break, and the other half went
to Momodu Maligi, the speaker of
the evening’s event. Maligi was randomly
selected as a winner, and he
generously donated his winnings to
SWAHP. Other activities of the week
included three Lawrence professors
holding signs with statistics pertaining
to hunger awareness issues.
A reoccurring message of the
banquet and other featured events of
the week hosted by SWAHP was that
it is never too late to get involved.
Poverty and hunger are issues that
exist globally and within our own
SWAHP will be hosting an alternative
giving fair Nov. 19, and students
can use this opportunity to
become a part of the cause and to
get some holiday shopping out of the
way at the same time.