Placed in the footsteps of hunger

Placed+in+the+footsteps+of+hunger

James Tutten / Valencia Voice

People gather for the Oxfam banquet in Orlando.

Students educated others about world hunger through an unconventional Oxfam banquet last Thursday. Separated by class and purposely mistreated, you could hardly call this a normal meal. But for millions of poor and underprivileged people the stories are real, and were shared with a strikingly personal touch.

Representative speakers from all the major Valencia groups worked to educate students about hunger and mistreatment from around the world. In this modern age with bountiful resources a child dies from hunger of preventable diseases every four seconds or 22,000 per day on average.

“This whole project was part of a bigger project, about bringing awareness about hunger, poverty, and homelessness” said Diana Lawrie, co-president of H.E.R.O (Human Empathy and Rights Organization.) This Valencia group works to inspire action from students and others about different global injustices like sex trafficking and children’s rights.

This event was based around another strong belief of the groups; to end hunger locally through the Homeless Coalition of Florida and internationally through the Oxfam organization. An international confederation of 98 countries working to find lasting solutions to hunger and injustice around the world.

Participants who came for the meal randomly selected cards assigning them to sit in either high, middle, or low class sections. A lucky 15 percent were welcomed to the high class fine- dining table. Seated in chairs around the room was the middle class, representing 33 percent of the diners.  More than half of the  participants sat on the floor as low income citizens.

Before the meal several student from PTK, SGA, and other Valencia groups gave speeches about the affects of hunger and injustice. Members from the middle and poor classes were asked to stand up, and given a real-life story along with a slide show image of the person and hardships they faced.

“We’re trying to bring awareness of whats going on in other areas around the world, and about hunger in the lower class” said David Rosado Jr. student government president for Valencia’s Osceola campus.

A fine meal of salads, pasts, cakes, and more were served on a silver platter to the high class, while poor had to eat rice and water with a forced rule of woman eating last. As time went on some people still hadn’t eaten, and much of the food for the high and middle classes was left for waste.

“It made me actually feel guilty about sitting in the high income section, so I gave up my seat “ said Kris Boodooram a second year international business major. He plans to give back to the community in a real way after he graduates.

“Poverty does exists, and just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exists” said Victoria Hoa a member of SGA,PTK, and also a member and presenter for H.E.R.O’S. She recently worked with her church to help rebuild a flooded community in Costa Rica. “If everyone worked to help others, they would understand that every little bit makes a difference.“