SACRED Heart College recently held a ‘hunger banquet’ to raise student awareness of the number of people living in poverty.
The Sorrento school’s humanities and home economics departments and Young Vinnies Group joined together to host the banquet for 100 Year 9 students, teachers and guests, including Moore MHR Ian Goodenough, Hillarys MLA Rob Johnson, Natalie Weir from Project Compassion – Caritas Australia and Father Patrick Toohey from Our Lady of Grace Parish.
The idea came from four Year 11 Young Vinnies students and co-ordinator Rossana Hywood, who attended an anti-poverty seminar, and Year 9 students studying food security and inequity in geography.
The aim was to demonstrate the inequitable distribution of food around the globe and demonstrate the effect global warming will have on food security.
Fifteen per cent of attendees had a two-course meal of chilli con carne, rice, corn chips and cheese, with juice followed by ice-cream, seated at a table with linen, crockery, glasses and cutlery.
Sitting on the floor, 35 per cent of attendees had a simple meal of half a cup of rice and a spoonful of beans on paper plates and water in paper cups, and 50 per cent had rice in a lettuce leaf and had to ladle water out of a bucket for a drink.
Next year’s elected head boy Matthew Kolomyjec and social justice captain James O’Neil spoke about the lack of food in poorer parts of the world and the waste in the developed world.
Everyone then paused for a minute’s silence while a bell was rung every 3.6 seconds to signify someone in the world dying from hunger.
“After the event, few participants left with full stomachs but all left with a greater understanding of the problems of hunger and poverty and felt motivated to do something about them,” Year 11 student Melanie Supanz said.