April 2, 2010

Most diners at the Hunger Banquet being held Wednesday at AmherstCollege will be eating rice and beans on the floor, but a select few will be served griot, a grilled pork dish, accompanied by other upscale Haitian delicacies.

The disparity highlights income and dietary differences in most of the developing world. And it’s the concept for a fundraiser being sponsored by various groups at AmherstCollege on Wednesday April 7, at 6 p.m. in Lewis Sebring Dining Hall. The suggested donation for the dinner is $5.

The Hunger Banquet, in which people will be grouped into low, middle, high income groups (in a 60:30:10 ratio) and are served food accordingly, was dreamed up by Daniel Kim, a sophomore at Amherst College and president of the Multifaith Council on Campus. Kim, says he, in turn, heard about the concept from Rebecca Oyen ’09, his predecessor at the Multifaith Council.

“It’s a great way to raise awareness about world hunger as well as the situation in Haiti, which isn’t the top headline anymore,” Kim said, who added that the dishes being cooked will follow recipes provided by the Haitian grandmother of a current student at Amherst.

Other sponsors include the AAS, Muslim Students Association, Center for Community Engagement, Amherst Christian Fellowship, the Newman Club, Hillel, the BCELs, Amnesty International and Habitat for Humanity.

The Banquet will feature several speakers, including former Dean of Students Ben Lieber serving as emcee, Amherst College Economics Professor Katharine Sims, Megan Pete of the Western Massachusetts Food Bank and Raphaelle Sondak of the Forgotten Children of Haiti, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of Haitian children since 1993. Proceeds from the banquet will benefit Forgotten Children of Haiti.

For more information contact Dan Kim at dkim12@amherst.edu.