A number of aid organizations offer “hunger banquets,” not only to raise funds, but also to increase awareness about global poverty. “Hunger banquets” are experiential in nature. Guests are assigned seats based upon worldwide poverty statistics, and the meal they are served represents their changed “place” in the world. The concept was born during severe global famines of the 1970s; more than 850,000 people nationwide have participated since then.
Disparities are not only reflected through the food one is served, but also through other means. In some parts of the room, men are served before women to demonstrate gender inequity. And “natural disasters” are introduced throughout the evening (drought, job loss, etc.)
The message was clear: Our position in life and access to resources are often determined by chance, and our economic well-being can decline for reasons beyond our control.