OGDEN, Utah – Every five seconds, a child somewhere in the world dies from a hunger-related illness. In an effort to combat world and local hunger, Weber State University’s Community Involvement Center (CIC) will hold a Hunger Banquet, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Ballroom, bringing awareness to a global epidemic that also affects people locally.
Participants will experience firsthand what hunger feels like and learn about the inequalities of food access, need and community resources.
“In order to be responsible citizens, we must recognize that hunger exists and that it exists here,” said Nicholas Husted, AmeriCorps VISTA faculty and staff liaison. “We can ignore hunger all we want, but we can’t call ourselves socially aware or charitably inclined without taking action on a pressing problem that is staring us in the face.”
Participants will be assigned randomly as low, middle, or high-income to reflect actual earnings in the Ogden area. They will receive meals and seating based on their assigned income.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 46.2 million people in the U.S. are living in poverty. In Utah, more than 14.5 percent of the population is not getting enough food to eat every day.
The CIC will award $100 to the WSU campus club or organization that has the most attendees and $100 to the club or organization that donates the most food.
In conjunction with the statewide food drive, the CIC along with the Weber Cares Food Pantry, is particularly requesting peanut butter, cereal, boxed meals, soup, noodles, canned chicken, canned fruit, and pudding/gelatin mixes. Other non-perishable canned or boxed food items are also welcome.
Guest speakers include Lts. Peter and Jan Pemberton from the Salvation Army, Rinda Hayes from Kenya Keys and Marcie Valdez of Catholic Community Services.
Guests can receive an admissions bracelet by dropping off food at the CIC in the Shepherd Union prior to the banquet or by donating five boxes or cans of food at the door. Donations will go to the Weber Cares Food Pantry and the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank, located at Catholic Community Services.
“Do we care about our neighbors? Do we care about the community in which we live?” Husted asked. “If we care about those less fortunate than we are, we can play our part and be instrumental in helping children locally and around the world, reach their full potential.”