Monday, October 27, 2008

UIS to host annual Hunger Banquet

The University of Illinois at Springfield will host its third annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet on Tuesday, November 18, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Great Room of Lincoln Residence Hall on the UIS campus. The dinner is free and open to the public, however reservations are required.

The event is held in observance of National Hunger and Homelessness Week and will focus on the theme "Spreading the Peanut Butter Thin," based on the book Spread the Peanut Butter Thin! by central Illinois author Leah Riley. Riley will be present at the dinner to discuss her personal experiences with poverty. The program will also include a video and discussions about hunger.

The Hunger Banquet is presented by UIS student organizations Women's Issues Caucus, Las Olas, Alternative Spring Break, Christian Student Fellowship and by the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center. Donations of non-perishable food and canned goods will be accepted for the 2008 Holiday Stars Project, a campus-wide holiday service initiative benefiting the Central Illinois Foodbank.

During a Hunger Banquet, guests are randomly assigned high-, middle-, or low-income rankings and are served meals that range from gourmet fare to small portions of rice and water, depending on the guest’s designation. The purpose is to heighten participants’ awareness of hunger in the U.S. and internationally. Guests are invited to share their thoughts after the meal.

"Oxfam" was the original postal abbreviation for the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, which was started in England during World War II to provide relief to war victims in Europe. Oxfam America, an affiliate of Oxfam International, is a relief and development organization that works to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and injustice.

To make a reservation for the UIS Hunger Banquet or for more information, contact Lenore Cole in the Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center at 217/206-7716 or e-mail