Hunger Banquet Coming Up

As we wonder where the enormous snow fortress in the front drive disappeared to, and as senior Little Cyclones wearily send off scholarship applications after just having completed college applications (the beating never stops, I’m tellin ya!), they all know it’s almost time. The weeks of waiting are almost over, not for spaghetti at Winter Formal, but for rice and beans at the Hunger Banquet. Hosted by SHEPH and the Uganda Project, the Hunger Banquet is one of the clubs’ larger annual fundraising opportunities. “It’s a big one,” faculty advisor and Social Studies teacher Tim Mooney said. “We’ve raised between 9 and 13 thousand dollars in the past from the Hunger Banquet and silent auction.” But what the Hunger Banquet really tries to promote is awareness–of world issues and of the poverty and pressing needs of myriad people around the world. As always, food will be distributed among banqueters as according to world food distributions. Roughly seventy percent of attendees-including Moondog himself- will be peasants, receiving a few grains of rice and forced to eat their paltry repast on the ground. Around twenty percent will be middle class and receive some rice and beans, while only ten percent will be able to enjoy a full meal, sitting at tables and lording it over the rest of the world. “The idea is for people to experience the gaping inequality of the world and realize how much we Americans have,” said SHEPH leader Erica Anderson. The Hunger Banquet will be held February 26, 2011 from 5.30 to 7.30 p.m. in the AHS Cafeteria. Tickets are $10 apiece. There will be a silent auction at the event, and past Ames High students who have participated in the Uganda Project will speak of their experiences in Africa. The organizers are trying to also bring in speakers from local organizations. “The Hunger Banquet’s a really important event for us,” Anderson said. “Not just in terms of fundraising, but because it involves so many people from the community. It’s very much about different people all coming together for a common cause.” “I’m hoping for a turnout of around 300 people,” Mooney said. “If you’re aware, come and become impassioned. And if you don’t care, well…” Anderson trailed off. “But the point is awareness. Hopefully we can incite people to make change in their lives and the lives of others.”