November brought a new philanthropic event to the Bryant campus: Spoon University and ONE Campus, hosting an Oxfam Hunger Banquet that dramatically illustrated the effects of world hunger by randomly assigning diners to experience the meals of people with vastly different levels of income. The event was included in the PwC Center for Diversity and Inclusion’s International Education Week activities.
The banquet was free to all who attended. Some got a lavish meal with table service; others were given a modest but nutritious meal; still others received only a bowl of rice on a floor mat. This was the event’s first year at Bryant, raising awareness about the effects of poverty and income inequality worldwide.
Lisa R. Russo '19, President of Spoon University, helped organize the banquet. She says she took part in a similar event at her high school. “Food insecurity and inequity is an issue that’s very important to me,” she added. Though the primary objective was awareness, she says voluntary cash donations from the event were contributed to Oxfam.
Guest speaker Sue AnderBois, Director of Food Strategy for the State of Rhode Island, spoke to the participants and brought a local perspective to the cause. She discussed the importance of eliminating the stigma surrounding food insecurity, something that affects an estimated 12 percent of Rhode Islanders.