It is estimated that some 800 million people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition, about 100 times as many as those who actually die from it each year. In the U.S., one out of every eight children under the age of 12 goes to bed hungry every night.
To combat these statistics, the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center at the University of Utah will host the seventh annual Hunger Banquet to raise awareness about local and global hunger issues. The event will take place on Tuesday, September 25 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Admission to the banquet is $5 or five items of non-perishable food. Tickets will be available at the door. All proceeds from the banquet will be donated to the Utah Food Bank and Oxfam America, a nationwide hunger relief program.
Pamela Atkinson, local business liaison and advocate for the homeless, will be the featured speaker at this year’s banquet. Winner of the Salt Lake Chamber’s 2005 Athena Award and The Salt Lake Tribune’s 2005 Utahn of the Year, Atkinson has been widely recognized for her contributions to business and the community.
“Hunger is a very expansive issue,” notes hunger banquet committee chairman Shawn Boley. “The hunger banquet is an opportunity to experience the global perspective of chronic hunger with a focus on local poverty.”
Boley adds that the week following the banquet, the committee will address issues of local concern with a hunger panel, which will present an opportunity to learn what local citizens and leaders are doing to end poverty in Utah.
This year, the Bennion Center is collaborating with the U’s Alumni Association and the ASUU senior class to include the banquet as part of Homecoming Week, which begins Sept. 24 and runs through Sept. 29.
The Bennion Center collaborates with community agencies to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for U students, faculty, staff and alumni, while educating them about social, cultural and legal issues. It offers 150 service-learning courses each year and sponsors more than 40 student-directed programs.
Nearly 6,000 Bennion Center volunteers annually donate more than 150,000 hours of community service to a variety of projects.
For more information contact Shawn Boley via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.