Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
Kim Gardner delivers plates heaped with food to those at the banquet chosen to represent First-World citizens.

PROVO — Hundreds of people left a banquet hungry at Brigham Young University Friday night — but that was the whole idea.

It was the 18th annual Hunger Banquet sponsored by the Students for International Development club. The goal was to raise awareness of the inequality of resources in the world.

The event continues at 6 p.m. today. Cost is $8 at the door.

Participants packed the terrace of the BYU Wilkinson Student Center Friday night. People drew a ticket that placed them in either First-, Second- or Third-World countries and even outlined a personal scenario of their life, including job, income and living conditions.

A few dozen lucky people were declared residents of a developed First-World country. They were seated at a table with tablecloth, flowers and fancy place settings.

About 100 Second-World people were seated on chairs on both sides of the room.

Hundreds of Third-World citizens sat on the floor, which was strewn with flattened cardboard boxes, blankets and crumpled paper.

The seating was designed to replicate statistics of the three classes of the world: 10 percent, 20 percent and 70 percent.

BYU student Carl Brinton, one of the event leaders, was dressed as a gangster and had a sign on his back labeled "corruption."

"There is enough food in the world to feed three or four worlds. So why are there still people dying of hunger?" said Brinton, 23, of New York City, a junior majoring in Asian studies.

"It's not because we don't have enough food," he said. "It's because people in the developed areas of the world are greedy and waste a lot of food. And beyond that we have corruption. A lot of the aid going to other countries gets snapped up by governments."

Booths on the perimeter of the event offered information on everything from building houses for Habitat for Humanity to doing humanitarian internships in Third-World countries.

There was entertainment and speakers.

Soon it was time for "dinner."

First-World residents were served first, starting with salad and followed with heaping helpings of barbecued beans, rolls, potato salad and rice.

Some of the "rich and elite" participants looked sheepish as their food was presented to them with everyone else looking on.

"I feel grateful and a little bit guilty," said Tanya Johnson, 34, of Woodland Hills, a senior majoring in nursing at Utah Valley State College. She said she was going to save her roll to give to a Third-World person if they wanted more food.

"I feel kind of awkward because everyone else is lower. I feel I don't deserve to be at this table," said BYU student Mary Buynak, 23, of Denver, Pa., a junior majoring in special education.

Second-World people received one small slice of pizza and some lettuce salad with Italian dressing.

"I guess I'm pretty lucky," said Michael Perrone, 23, of Provo. He said if he was hungry after the event he could just go grab something from the Cougar Eat.

Third-World citizens were handed a plate of tortillas and beans to split among groups.

Three female BYU students said they were glad to be in the Third-World group because it was the experience they were looking for from the event.

"We can never fully understand what it's like to live in a Third-World country," said Janice Jenson, 20, of Riverside, Calif., a senior majoring in theater arts.

For more information on the Hunger Banquet, contact Eric Darsow at [email protected], or for more information visit kennedy.byu.edu/student/SID/hunger


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