3 Mind Transforming Discoveries from the Hunger Banquet


“Say what? I’m sorry but I can’t risk being assigned to the third world”

Those were the hilarious words I heard when I invited one of my best friends to the Hunger Banquet. Now before you judge me for the kind of friends I keep, you’ve got to admit that she makes a valid (and honest) point.

The Hunger Banquet is a unique effort to raise awareness about world hunger by showing rather than telling! A very impressive $4900 was raised this year in support of the IU-Kenya Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s Program and the Tumaini Children’s Center in Eldoret, Kenya.

That said, the 3 things that really dug deep into my skin were not entirely related to ending world hunger. Read on:

Third Worlder Status

At the event, 10% of guests were randomly tagged as “first world” residents, 30% as “second world” residents, and the remaining 60% of us planted our behinds on mats on the floor as “third world” citizens. I loved it because it reminded me that while we don’t always get to choose the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we always get to choose our attitudes within those circumstances

Bribes Accepted Here

Interestingly enough, even though assignments to the first, second, or third world were supposed to be random, bribes were being accepted at the door so you could pay your way out of a potentially bad situation. I smiled when I saw the sign saying “bribes accepted here”. I was reminded of the simple fact that money talks loud and clear. We just need to decide whether we want it to say something good or bad on our behalfs

Epic Twist of Fate

Just before the event began, the organizers made an intriguing announcement. A fictitious earthquake had just taken place, and 12 folks had to move from the second world to the third world. Not only were the “victims'” facial expressions priceless, but it demonstrated a lesson that many people have to learn the hard way today is no guarantee of what tomorrow will look like

What’s Next

Needless to say, I have great expectations for next year’s event and would highly recommend it to every and anybody. But even more importantly, there are opportunities in our very own backyards to do a little bit everyday for those that cannot afford a decent meal. Don’t take my word for it though, check out this chart from www.world hunger.org. It tells you how many millions of people are starving near you.

what are you doing today, to make your life count for something? Let’s talk. I’m on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: many thanks to Jordan Arkin, Caitlin Dugdale, and the entire IUPUI Global Health SIG Leadership team for putting on such an amazing show. To learn more about the Hunger Banquet, click here