Hunger Banquet For Famine Relief – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Hunger Banquet For Famine Relief

May 24, 2000 GENEVA, NY – Next week, the Colleges will host the second annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet to benefit Oxfam America — a famine relief and self-help organization. At the “banquet”, students and community members, who pay $10 per person ($7 goes to charity), eat one of three different meals based on the quality of the food that people in the world normally eat. This year the need for famine relief is as great as ever with current disasters occurring in Ethiopia and Mozambique. The Oxfam Hunger Banquet has been scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31, in the Common Room of the Scandling Center on the Colleges' campus. The public is invited. Those who wish to attend should call Professor Alan Frishman (781-3417) to reserve a place.

At the Banquet, each person picks a paper out of a bowl as s/he enters and then gets either a steak dinner served at linen draped tables with candles and flowers (15 percent of the participants), a spaghetti dinner self-served cafeteria style (30 percent), or bread, rice, and water self-served and eaten while sitting on the floor (55 percent). These represent the distribution of the kinds of meals people get to eat around the world. The banquet also typically includes a discussion, a short film, and a speaker as well as some activities. Last year the Colleges had a wonderfully successful Oxfam Hunger Banquet which raised $700 in one night.

For the past 15 years, at least $1,500 has been raised annually at Hobart and William Smith Colleges for the famine relief agency. Oxfam America funds disaster relief and a variety of self-help development projects carried out by indigenous groups. It seeks to promote self-reliant, participatory development among poor people through projects that assist their efforts to supply more of their own food; help poor people gain more control over resources and decisions that affect their lives; provide emergency relief assistance to selected countries; and conduct a development education program for people in the United States about the causes, challenges, and solutions regarding underdevelopment and hunger.

“Everyone who has ever participated in the Oxfam Banquet has remarked that it is a powerful and enlightening experience,” said Alan Frishman, professor of economics and event organizer. “It's exciting for me to see that these events continue to yield such a high participation rate.”

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