Poverty Week events impart lessons on hunger at Westminster with 'hunger banquet'

Rachael Holloway, fellow for Community Service, uses duct tape to hold together her cardboard house on Nov. 21 while Tripit Giri looks on and advises her. The Westminster community gathered to go through a Cardboard City simulation for Poverty Awareness Week. Elyssa Mann/FULTON SUN

Rachael Holloway, fellow for Community Service, uses duct tape to hold together her cardboard house on Nov. 21 while Tripit Giri looks on and advises her. The Westminster community gathered to go through a Cardboard City simulation for Poverty Awareness Week. Elyssa Mann/FULTON SUN

Even in a crowd as intimate as the one that filled the Marsh Room in the Mueller Leadership Hall, it was easy to see the disparity between classes at the Westminster College Campus Activities Board’s (CAB) poverty banquet.

The eight people who represented the world’s lowest classes sat on the bare floor, picking at a meager helping of rice with their bare hands.

The four students who made up the middle class in the exercise enjoyed more comfortable circumstances — if only on a practical level. They sat at a table with cutlery and their rice and beans meal contained enough protein for sustenance, but little else in the way of nutritional value.

Just one student represented the proportion of the world’s most wealthy population. Her three-course meal started with a salad — with choice of dressing — before she moved on to a plate of spaghetti and marinara. Her sweet tooth was sated with a brownie.

The exercise was one of many in the college’s Poverty Week, a series of programs designed to raise awareness among students to world poverty. CAB Assistant Coordinator Abby Spokes gave statistics on hunger and poverty, but she expected that the meal itself would be the most impactful.

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