On Wednesday night the Hunger Awareness Dinner was held to shed light on the issue of hunger and food waste around the community.
Speakers from various organizations such as: LAMP, Student Action Council, Haven, Peanut Butter and Jesus, Blazer Pantry and Hungry at Home were present to speak against the negative issue of hunger.
The event began as tables were set up with each seat containing a different color card in front of them. Each seat either had a yellow, blue or red colored card. At the start of the event, speaker Allison Mitchell asked that the individuals with a red color card move to the front of the room and sit on the floor.
The event continued as people walked out wearing nice clothing and carrying fine china dishes. The elaborate meal was served to the individuals with the yellow card, representing the upper class, in front of their seat, and the speaker insisted that they go ahead and eat.
As the individuals with the yellow card continued to eat, people in more casual attire came with plastic silverware and plates, and presented the food to the people that had the blue card, representing the middle class, in front of their seat.
As the yellow and blue card seats were served with their meal, the people that had a red color card, representing the lower class, still had not been served.
Mitchell, a senior marketing major, reminded the red colored cards that their meal was going to be served, but they would not receive dessert as the other cards would.
Mitchell then proceeded to tell the red color card individuals that their meals were in the empty trash cans at the front of the room. The meals were placed in individual wrapped boxes, and the food was thrown into the box.
“The food was thrown into the box in an unpresentable way,”Cierra Davis, a sophomore exercise physiology major, said. “The box had fried chicken and potato wedges, but the way that it was in the box looked very unappetizing.”
Last week alone, over 700 pounds of food was wasted in Palms Dining Hall. The event was held to inspire students and citizens of Valdosta to make a difference and help change the issues of hunger that occur within the community.
“One in six adults suffer from hunger consistently and one in five children suffer from hunger consistently,” Mitchell said. “One of the points of this dinner is to be grateful for what we have, and not to take advantage of what we have. I am glad that the turnout was great. I hope that students got the point and are more aware of the issues of hunger. I am glad that we were able to host the event locally.”
Others were also excited about the message of the event.
“We really appreciate being able to be a part of the event,” Teala McMurtry, a volunteer at the Haven, said. “I hope that students are more aware, and I encourage they get involved in any way they can.
Some students felt it would leave a lasting impression on others.
“I really enjoyed it,” Kristen Brown, a senior communication and science and disorders major, said. “It was an eye opening event. I think that people often take advantage of what they have. It made me more aware of the issue.”