Vaughn College’s first Hunger Banquet was held on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 led by students from Circle K, the Student Government Association and the Leadership Academy. The banquet joins a global effort led by OxFam, an international group of nonprofit organizations working in 94 countries to fight poverty and promote social justice.

“I think the banquet was a real eye-opener for many of our students,” said Dean of Students Jack Gormley. “Many programs in the main lobby serve food. The Hunger Banquet turned that upside down; today we served food for thought.”

A lottery was held to determine where participants would sit and how much, or how little food they would receive. Those few who were lucky enough to have a full meal represented the 10 percent of the world who regularly have full meals. Those representing the middle class made up 25 percent of the population who have just enough to eat with little variety or choices, and the remaining 65 percent received rice and water only representing those who struggle on a daily basis to find food.

Dale Williams, executive director of the nonprofit group Midnight Run, a volunteer organization dedicated to finding common ground between the housed and the homeless, spoke to the participants about his insights and learnings from hunger and homelessness and his work with Midnight Run.

Part-fundraiser and part educational program, the goal of the Hunger Banquet was to raise awareness about hunger-related issues around the world and right here in New York.

“I think this event will benefit the Vaughn community,” said Karina Quijano ’16. “As president of the student chapter of Circle K and Kiwanis International here at Vaughn, I want to help people understand the different experiences people have around the world and provide community service whenever possible. I’m sure this event made our students, faculty and staff more aware of the issues surrounding poverty and social justice.”

Students, faculty and staff attend Vaughn College’s Hunger Banquet on Tuesday, December 1.