Last week as most of us prepared for Thanksgiving and a table of plenty, I had the pleasure of attending a Hunger Banquet with the students in our 9-12 Program. This is an event that takes place in the upper elementary program every three years, demonstrating that many people do not have enough to eat. This year, the statistic represented was that 60% of the world’s people barely have enough food to eat, 30% have just enough to survive, and 10% have plenty.
The teachers could simply share these statistics and discuss the problem of world hunger. However, they choose to provide an experience that will stay with the children for a long time to come; it makes an lasting impression. The children randomly choose a card as they enter the room and that card determines where they will sit. The children who are in the 10% have a full course meal at a beautifully set table; they have more than they can eat at one sitting. The rest of the room has a minimal amount of food to share. The staple this year was rice for 60%, and rice and beans for 30%. Children happily sat in their places and shared the food before them, eventually noticing that not everyone was eating the same thing. The three children at the big table got up at one point to share their food; they said that they felt guilty for having so much. Continue reading