By Diane Gardner,
Health Science Education Specialist and HOSA Advisor,
Timpanogos High School, Alpine School District
At Timpanogos High School, our HOSA Community Awareness Team wanted to focus on the alarming statistics of rising hunger rates in our community. As a HOSA chapter, we discussed the importance of raising awareness of both the need in our own community and worldwide. In the fall we held a food drive, we aired a public service announcement informing the school of the growing need to donate food, put signs around the school with hunger facts, and collected almost 3,000 cans of food for our local food bank. But, we wanted to do more! Our HOSA Community Awareness Team contacted OxFam, a national organization who works internationally with raising awareness about hunger, and we started to “do more.”
On February, 19, 2014 we held a Hunger Banquet at Timpanogos High School, which was AWESOME! More than 140 students attended from Timpanogos High School, Mountain View High School, Orem High School, and Pleasant Grove High School. We divided the groups into First World, Second World, and Third World populations, proportionally. The First World group was served a nice pasta dinner—with extra-large helpings—while sitting at a beautiful table setting. The Second World group was served a dinner of rice, beans, a tortilla, and an apple, while sitting at tables with paper plates and cups, plastic forks, and had water to drink. The Third World group was served a dinner of only rice, and ate their meal while sitting on blankets placed on the floor. This group had to dip water out bucket into paper cups and had a reed basket that held a few wooden forks and paper plates. There were not enough wooden forks for everyone in the group, so some had to eat with their fingers.
Karina Holt, a junior at Timpanogos High School and member of the HOSA Community Awareness Team, said this about the banquet, “From this [experience] I learned that I am so blessed and I have the resources to help others. So many people are suffering in the world while a lot of us are here and have more than we can imagine. Another thing I realized was that living where we are we have so many more opportunities. Hunger is a real problem, yet we can all do something to make a difference. I am so glad that we were able to do a Hunger Banquet at our school. I learned so much and I know that it moved others.”
At the event we listened to several speakers including, Levi Marshall, a student at Timpanogos High School, who lived in Haiti during the earthquake; Genna Lasko, from Hadley Impact Consulting, who spoke about world poverty and hunger; and HOSA president McKay Jones who spoke on hunger in our own community. All of the students learned the importance of making a difference and were shown several ways they could help raise awareness, donate, and be involved in changing the world hunger problem. We had more than 100 people come to support and listen to our program.
During the event we held several raffles, auctioned off donated gift baskets, Jet Blue tickets, and other items. We raised approximately $1,500! The money will go to help several farmers on KIVA.org, as well as our local food bank. The money from the Jet Blue tickets will go towards a Utah HOSA scholarship program.
The Hunger Banquet was a huge success! Thank you to those who participated in the event, and to those businesses who generously contributed to the auction.