UW-Stout News Story

Poverty, hunger are on the menu at Oxfam America banquet

February 27, 2012

A Chippewa Valley organization will benefit from the proceeds of a special event put on by a UW-Stout class from the School of Hospitality Leadership.

An Oxfam America Hunger Banquet is scheduled from 2:30-4 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, in room 184 of Micheels Hall. The cost is $5. Proceeds will go to the Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association to help replenish its rice pantry.

The event will highlight poverty, hunger and social injustice in more than 90 countries. Attendees will receive a random low-, middle- or high-income card. This will determine whether they sit on the floor, on a chair or at a table and which kind of meal they will receive. Just 10 percent of attendees will be high-income, representative of society as a whole.

“Poverty is happening in our community right now, and we are hoping to inform people through a moving experience that they will remember,” said student Andrea Thompson, of Luck, event emcee.

A total of 45 students from the International Convention and Meeting Planning class are putting on the banquet. Students will make presentations about world hunger, said Kristal Gerdes, assistant professor. “Every three seconds someone dies of hunger,” she said. “The event really helps put it into perspective.”

The class hopes to raise $2,000 for the Hmong Mutual Assistance Association, Gerdes said. Proceeds last year went toward rebuilding a school in a Third World country.

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