WARRENSBURG – For the eighth year, students at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg will host the Oxfam UCM Hunger Banquet to help educate the community about hunger and poverty issues across the globe.
UCM Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Wendy Geiger’s Social Influence class has been hosting the event since 2008 as part of its curriculum. Oxfam UCM’s interactive event is part of a global movement, Oxfam International, which has been changing people’s lives for more than 40 years.
The banquet offers a unique experience for those who choose to attend – as each person enters the venue, they will receive a ticket that places them in one of three classes, Upper Class, Middle Class or Lower Class.
Attendees will be encouraged to participate in a scavenger hunt to find information about Oxfam and local, state and world hunger issues through posters and a PowerPoint presentation; the first person to complete the task will receive a prize.
As they head to their tables (or lack of table), some attendees may not get the meal they were hoping for, as each class will receive food similar to what they would be eating in real life with their assigned social and economic status.
“Attendees of the Oxfam Hunger Banquet will come away with a new appreciation of how the world eats and the impacts of food intake,” Geiger said. “They will see the intersection of poverty and hunger both in the United States and around the world. It is an experience one will not soon forget.”
This year’s guest speaker and master of ceremonies for the banquet will be Shirley Briscoe from Manna Harvest. She serves as the volunteer coordinator of Manna Harvest and takes an active role in the Nehemiah Feeding Project at Shiloh Baptist Church in Warrensburg.
Beyond immersing themselves into a hands-on hunger simulation experience, students and community members can also participate by donating non-perishable food items, sanitary items, and new or gently used clothing, which can be dropped off at the banquet itself. All items will be donated to Oxfam or a local food pantry.
Spare change – or as much as one is willing to donate – can also be donated in boxes located at the banquet. UCM students also have the option of donating meal swipes.
“We typically earn a couple hundred pounds of food each year and have raised thousands of dollars over the years,” Geiger said. “In addition, we have educated hundreds of students, faculty, staff and members of the community on the issue of hunger locally, and globally in the past eight years.”
During the banquet, participants will have the chance to win prizes through a raffle; tickets can be purchased at the banquet, inside the entryway. Prizes include two tickets to the Kansas City Repertory Theatre for the New Works Festival, hosted April 23 to May 22, as well as a gift certificate to Rib Crib. Ticket holders need to be present to win. Money raised from the raffle will also benefit Oxfam and local organizations.
The event will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Elliott Student Union 237A at UCM. It is free and open to the public, although donations are encouraged. For more information, contact Geiger at [email protected] or visit Facebook.com/OxfamUCM.
Release courtesy of Oxfam UCM