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New Mexico State University

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NMSU ‘Hunger Banquet’ highlights food insecurity across the globe

When you sit down to dinner tonight, what will be on your plate? A mound of spaghetti with a rich sauce? Roasted chicken with a heaping side of vegetables?


While many of us take for granted that our plate will be filled each day with nutritious food, the reality is quite different for billions of people around the world – and for thousands right here in Las Cruces.

To bring attention to the problem of global food insecurity, Sodexo Campus Dining at New Mexico State University, in cooperation with NMSU Housing and Campus Life, will host a “Hunger Banquet” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Students, faculty and staff who participate in the banquet will be randomly chosen to enjoy a meal that reflects the real circumstances for billions of people across the globe, both the affluent and the impoverished.

John Rivers, marketing coordinator for Sodexo at NMSU, said some participants will receive a typical American meal – the sort of thing a student might expect to get with the NMSU meal plan. Others will get rice and beans, a meal that provides some basic nutrients. The largest group – half the participants – will be given only a small serving of rice.

Rivers said the banquet really drives home the message that hunger is a bigger problem than most people realize.

“This is really an interactive way to help students understand hunger in a way that’s tangible,” he said. “The banquet makes it more personal, and puts students in the shoes of someone else.”

Following a similar banquet during the spring semester, Rivers said the participants expressed surprise at the distribution of meals, which is modeled after global data on food insecurity.

The banquet is part of a larger picture, Rivers said – a first impression for some that may create a bridge to get them thinking about contributing to the fight against hunger in their own communities. It’s part of Sodexo’s national Stop Hunger initiative.

“We provide the participants with information about resources here on campus and in the community, like the Aggie Cupboard food pantry and the Roadrunner Food Bank,” he said. “We want them to have the information so they can contribute to these organizations or share the information with someone who needs their services.”

To take part in this special hunger awareness initiative, call Rivers at 575-646-1749. This event will be hosted in the outdoor patio next to Taos Restaurant on the first floor of Corbett Center Student Union, near the east entrance.

The Aggie Cupboard food pantry is open to students, faculty and staff who need emergency food assistance and is always accepting donations of non-perishable food items. Bring your current NMSU identification to Garcia Annex Room 132 Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and receive a bag of food. For more information on the Aggie Cupboard, contact Lori Haussamen at mlori@nmsu.edu.

For more information about NMSU Dining and Catering, visit http://dining.nmsu.edu