March 8, 2011, marks the 100th anniversary of initiative
To celebrate and honor women, Oxfam America is organizing events nation-wide that highlight the critical role that women everywhere play in feeding the world. The National Catholic Rural Life Conference is supporting this initiative and encouraging our network members to participate or to organize their own local events.
The cornerstone of this initiative is the Oxfam America Hunger Banquet, an interactive event that allows participants to experience firsthand the realities of global hunger and poverty. Even though our bountiful planet produces enough food to feed everyone on earth, 925 million people go hungry every day. Why? Because hunger is really about power. Oxfam’s Hunger Banquet demonstrates that the roots of hunger lie in inequalities in access to education and resources. It shows that women—who produce most of the world’s food—face the greatest inequalities of all. Investing in women farmers is key to solving the food crisis in many parts of the world.
When participants come to the Oxfam Hunger Banquet, they draw their “lot in life”—15 percent will dine on a nutritious meal, 35 percent will receive rice and beans, and the majority will sit on the floor and share rice and water. This event powerfully demonstrates how some are born into relative prosperity and security, while millions, through no choice of their own, are born into poverty. The Hunger Banquet also demonstrates how progress can be made when we face this challenge with commitment and creativity and focus on the vital role that women play as agents of change.
NCRLC will participate in Hunger Banquets taking place in St. Paul, Minn., and Ames, Iowa. More details to come.
UPDATE: Click HERE to learn the details of the Hunger Banquets in Minnesota and Iowa, and in a place near you!
International Women’s Day on March 8 is an opportunity for education and raising awareness. As a supporter of this campaign, NCRLC encourages our network to plan a Hunger Banquet or educational event. Parishes, schools, community groups and individuals are invited to organize local International Women’s Day events. These could be Hunger Banquets as described above or some other event that your group chooses. These events will engage community members and government policy makers in exploring lasting solutions to poverty and hunger. Oxfam will support all events with free toolkits, materials and advice—and together, we can build a movement to end hunger worldwide. Oxfam will be working to have a least 100 events across the country around March 8th.
Other Oxfam educational events and action ideas can be found HERE.
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