Setting a table for change

Queen’s Oxfam aims to raise awareness about world hunger

At Queen’s Oxfam’s first ever Hunger Banquet, attendees will be assigned to different economic classes and served accordingly. If put in a lower economic class, attendees will be served later and with smaller portion sizes. The aim of the metaphor is to provide people insight into the issue of global hunger which affects more than 800 million people worldwide.
At Queen’s Oxfam’s first ever Hunger Banquet, attendees will be assigned to different economic classes and served accordingly. If put in a lower economic class, attendees will be served later and with smaller portion sizes. The aim of the metaphor is to provide people insight into the issue of global hunger which affects more than 800 million people worldwide.
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Queen’s Oxfam has tabled their annual Change Conference in favour of a more creative evening event called the ‘Hunger Banquet.’

Attendees will become part of a dramatization of the global hunger pandemic—a pandemic that affects more than 800 million people worldwide. Cara Babineau, ArtSci ’12, one of the organizers for the banquet, said the banquet is a metaphor.

“People go for the experience. People come in and they’re assigned to a different economic class, parts of the world that have more or less,” she said. “It’s a demonstration at the beginning of the dinner part of the evening. So different people placed in the higher class will be served first and the second class will have to wait longer. The last class might have to sit on the floor and they might not get water, things like that. The portion sizes will be affected as well.”

In addition to addressing the issue of food security, the evening will also include information about some of the other Oxfam focal issues.

“It’s all connected,” Babineau said. “Oxfam Canada is focused on climate change and womens’ rights right now. They’re also interested in food security. One of the speakers will be speaking about how everything is affected and another will be talking just about women or climate change specifically.”

The evening’s collection of speakers will include the Youth and Campus Outreach Officer of Oxfam Toronto Taryn Diamond.

“She’s a great speaker and can connect with students really well,” Babineau said. “She can really show people of our age group how we can do things to really change what affects us and the world.” Babineau said the conference differs a lot from its structure in previous years.

“Before we would have workshops and things during the day with just the dinner and conference in the evening,” she said, adding that this year’s combination of a dinner workshop will enable more people to become involved with all aspects of the events at once.

The decision to change this year’s event name to the ‘Hunger Banquet’ was to present the issue of chronic hunger as the focal point.

“The Hunger Banquet is actually something that Oxfam Canada has,” Babineau said, “It was originally called Hungry4Change because it was about recognizing people that are hungry around the world. So the name is closer in raising awareness about that specifically.”

Babineau said she hopes the changes made to culminate in this year’s re-envisioned Hunger Banquet will pique peoples’ interests. Queen’s Oxfam is aiming for a turnout of about 60 guests.

The Queen’s Oxfam Hunger Banquet will be held Saturday, Feb. 5 at 4:30 p.m. in the McLaughlin Room of the JDUC. Tickets will be sold in advance for $5 at Common Ground Monday through Friday between 11 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets purchased at the door will be $10.

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