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Hunger: How will U make a change?

Sept. 17, 2009 – According to the Food Banks of Utah, hunger affects one out of every four children in the state. Globally, 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.

To combat these statistics, the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center at the University of Utah will host the ninth annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet to raise awareness about local and global hunger issues. This year’s banquet, themed “Hunger: How will U make a change?” will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. in the Crimson View Room of the Ray Olpin Union Building. 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.

Gina Cornia, director of Utah Against Hunger and Bennion Center alumna, will give the keynote address.

“The annual Hunger Banquet acts as a great tool for spreading awareness about the prevalent issue of food insecurity,”” said Stanley Lloyd, ASUU community service director. “Each year, students emerge from this event with a new and different perspective on food consumption, distribution and accessibility. We feel that this event is one of the best ways that University of Utah students can gain an understanding of what hunger really is and how it plays out in every day life.”

June Hiatt, a senior studying sociology and economics, has been involved in the annual event for years. She explains that in previous years, the Hunger Banquet was focused on presenting the issue of hunger. This year, attendees should come prepared to find out how they can be a part of the change.

“Hunger is not simply about the lack of food, but the lack of resources and distribution in our communities,” she added. “This is an issue that impacts everyone and can no longer be neglected. To strengthen our communities we must all take action.

Guided by the Bennion Center’s goal of empowering students to take action in their respective communities by engaging them in active dialogue and discussion, this year’s banquet will focus on solutions to hunger and poverty.

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. 19 and runs through Sept 25.

For more information, contact Stanley L. Lloyd (801)910-9677.