COSL’s 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet Demonstrates the Inequality of Poverty and Hunger

COSL’s 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet Demonstrates the Inequality of Poverty and Hunger

COSL’s 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet Demonstrates the Inequality of Poverty and Hunger

John Jay’s Community Outreach and Service Learning (COSL) hosted the 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet on December 10 to shed light on hunger and poverty issues. For this interactive event, attendees were randomly assigned to a high-, middle-, or low-income tier, as a way to emphasize the issues of poverty around the world, and the affects that income inequality can have on individuals. Those in the high-income tier had the privilege of sitting at fancy tables and were served a full meal of roasted potatoes, chicken, vegetables and a salad. The middle-income individuals were given rice and beans, and were instructed to sit in chairs at a plain table. And, the low-income tier, sat on the floor eating only a bowl of rice with water.

Lucas Carvalho
Lucas Carvalho

“This simulation is a true reflection of how our economy is. I’m representing the one percent, and because of that, I get to have this luxurious meal and sit at a table, while my classmates are barely eating and are sitting on the floor.” —Lucas Carvalho

Acting as a member of the high-income tier, Lucas Carvalho ’20, an English major, COSL member, and Participatory Budgeting Fellow for New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, couldn’t help but notice the harsh reality of income inequality. “This simulation is a true reflection of how our economy is. I’m representing the one percent, and because of that, I get to have this luxurious meal and sit at a fancy table, while my classmates are barely eating and are sitting on the floor,” he said, while adding what being part of the one percent means for the rest of society. “The one percent makes all the decisions, because they have the money and power to influence others. They decide if social programs that middle- and low-income groups depend on are funded or not. And, they have the financial freedom not to worry about putting food on the table; because of this many don’t care about giving back. It’s a very unfortunate thing, but it’s the reality of what’s going on.”

Abdourahamane Ly
Abdourahamane Ly

“Overcoming poverty, isn’t an act of charity, it’s an act of justice.” —Abdourahamane Ly

For Abdourahamane Ly 19, an Emergency Management major and COSL member, this event spoke to the very essence of the mission of the College. “Poverty is man-made; it’s not a natural circumstance like a hurricane. So if we work together, we can overcome it. And overcoming poverty, isn’t an act of charity, it’s an act of justice,” said Ly. “If you look at the College, everything about John Jay leans toward justice, and I truly believe that the chance to live a decent life is a fundamental right. By hosting this event, we hope that it encourages the community to fight harder to end poverty and hunger.”

More scenes from the event:

scenes COSL’s 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet

scenes from COSL’s 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet

scenes from COSL’s 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet

scenes from COSL’s 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet

scenes from COSL’s 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet

 

scenes from COSL’s 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet

scenes from COSL’s 8th Annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet