Organized by the Rosarian Academy’s National Junior Honor Society, the seventh and eighth grades participated in an Oxfam Hunger Banquet on Friday, March 7.
The banquet provided students the unique and memorable opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes for a single meal, which was transformed into a true socioeconomic cross section of the world.
Followed by a presentation by Father John D’mello (a native Indian priest who is currently part of St. Patrick’s Church in Palm Beach Gardens) related to local and world poverty, each person received a random character card reflecting the family income level that they would represent at the banquet. The students were then invited to “eat the way the world eats” as they received a representative meal based on their assigned group. 20 percent of students represented the high-income tier (above $6,300 a year), 30 percent represented the middle-income ($1,128 – $6,300 a year), and 50 percent represented the low-income (less than $1,128 a year).
The high-income tier received a full meal, the middle-income group received a portion of rice and beans, and the low-income section only received a small portion of rice.
After the meal was over, students had the opportunity to reflect on the service learning experience, as well as develop collaborative ideas to be a part of the solution in the global community. “This experience gave students the opportunity to see the world with a unique perspective, deepen their understanding of the problems of world hunger and poverty, and become inspired to become a part of the solution in their own ways,” said Patrick Hansen, Rosarian literature teacher and NJHS moderator.
Café Joshua Catering Company, a social enterprise business of the Lord’s Place, prepared and donated all of the food for the Hunger Banquet. Café Joshua’s participation in the banquet is one of the many ways that the Lord’s Place and Rosarian are working together to help foster an awareness of the need for social change.
ABOVE: Seventh- and eighth-grade students eat a small portion of rice and beans as part of the “middle income” group.