The more than 100 participants--comprised of college students from all over the U.S.--were divided into three categories. The 15 percent in the high-income tier were served a sumptuous meal (pasta shells and salad) and sat at tables with nice tablecloths. The 35 percent in the middle-income section sat on chairs and a simple meal of rice and beans. And the 50 percent in the low-income tier sat on the floor and helped themselves to small portions of rice and water. Here is the full Hunger Banquet script from Oxfam.
One participant in the middle-income group noted that despite the protein from the beans, he group was not getting a well-rounded nutritious meal. A meal of rice and beans still leaves people at the edge. There were no fruits or vegetables.
And there was the expected reaction from the upper income group. This is a very humiliating experience, said one person. Another noted, I tried giving some salad to one of my friends in the lower-income group, and she didn't feel right taking it.
The participants then heard from me on how to follow up on their experience, mainly through advocacy. I told them about Bread for the World and other groups engaged in advocacy. One of my props, a t-shirt from ONE, was very popular. It reads: Actions Speak Louder.
Here are more photographs from the event.
|Lowest income group sits on the floor|
|Middle income sits on chairs|
|High income sits at table|
|Amelia Pedini from New MexicoFoodCorps was co-moderator|
|Jasmine McBeath from NM Oxfam Action Corps was also an MC|
|Adam Casados from NM FoodCorps|