Hunger Banquet raises awareness and funds for global food security

March 5, 2015

On Feb. 27, the IU School of Medicine Global Health Student Interest Group raised more than $5,600 at the seventh annual Hunger Banquet. Helping to increase awareness of global food security, the event raised money for the Tumaini Children's Center in Kenya, which provides homeless children a source of food, shelter and education.

Event co-chairs Erica Park, Brittany McCoy and Susan Ellsperman, who are second-year IUSM students, welcomed guests and introduced a video featuring Tumaini Center liaison, Lydia Fischer, M.D., also a student at IUSM. Dr. Fischer is currently working as a researcher at the Tumaini Children’s Center during a gap year. 

“Tumaini is in such a pivotal place right now. They have just purchased an acre of land outside of town and have finished construction on a building that will not only provide a place for kids to ‘drop-in’ during the day, but also house them during the night and provide tailored education within a safe environment,” explained Dr. Fischer. “Without the aid of centers like Tumaini, there isn’t much in the way of social support for these kids, and they fall through the cracks.”

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As is tradition with the Hunger Banquet, guests representing developed countries sat at well-appointed dinner tables and received appetizers and pasta dishes. Those representing under-developed countries ate simple dinners of beans, rice and bread, and sat on mats on the floor.

“I think everyone had a great time,” said Park, one of the event co-chairs. “We all left with some points on how to improve food security by our own actions, such as not wasting food during meals, recycling and volunteering at local food shelters.”

With more than 125 guests in attendance, this year’s Hunger Banquet included a silent auction, local entertainers, a trivia game and a keynote presentation by Gary Burniske, managing director of the Purdue University Center for Global Food Security.