Archive for Thursday, January 11, 2007

Kayettes aim to shed light on hunger

January 11, 2007

Some who attend Lansing High School's Oxfam Hunger Banquet this month will go home hungry - and that's precisely the point.

"Sometimes people feel like America is one of the wealthy countries and they don't have anything to worry about, and that is mostly true," said LHS sophomore Jenny Curatola. "But there is poverty in the U.S. and all over the world. We really wanted the community and the school to understand what was going on around them and to help out and change things."

To illustrate that point, LHS Kayettes will sponsor an Oxfam Hunger Banquet, a meal that begins with guests being randomly sorted into three classes: lower, middle and upper.

The distribution is based on worldwide poverty percentages, and the meal reflects the three classes, Curatola explained.

For example, 15 percent of the guests will eat a feast of chicken, salad and bread. Ashlee's restaurant will donate 15 of those meals, Curatola said.

A less-filling meal of potato soup will be served to 25 percent of the guests, while the remainder - 60 percent of the participants - receive rice and water.

Participants are asked to donate $3 or more for the event, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 19 in the commons area at LHS. Proceeds benefit Oxfam America, a worldwide organization that combats global poverty, social injustice and hunger.

Curatola, coordinator for the event, said this was a new project for the Kayettes, who received a challenge from Kayettes president Natalie Hall in the fall.

Hall wanted the group to find new and creative service projects, and a hunger banquet fit the bill, Curatola said, because it provides a unique understanding of world hunger.

"We've noticed in our school that sometimes the students don't get interested in the cause. They're more interested in how it benefits them," Curatola said.

The community is encouraged to attend the event, which is designed to give participants a firsthand demonstration of the problems of world poverty, Curatola said.

Each guest will receive a character card that gives details about a person living in a particular income level. An 11-minute film also will air during the meal that explains Oxfam's mission of improving the lives of the poor and teaching them how to support themselves.

Curatola said guests would be able to sample a treat before they leave, if they choose.

"At the end, to make amends for the 60 percent (of people) who don't get much to eat, we'll have a dessert for everyone to try, so hopefully there won't be too many hard feelings," she said.

Tickets can be purchased during lunch through Jan. 19 and during the home basketball games beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12.

Curatola said another new project - a Kayettes cookbook - also will be sold during the banquet for $7. LHS teachers and Kayettes members provided recipes for the cookbook, which benefits Oxfam as well.

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