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DWU students catch glimpse of hunger during campus dinner

Students at Dakota Wesleyan University recently got a small glimpse of how the other half lives during dinner at the cafeteria.

DWU students arrived at the cafeteria the evening of Nov. 6 and were greeted by students from the leadership and public service class. Each student received a piece of paper, indicating whether they would get a delicious chicken cordon bleu meal, with typical portions of a First-World country, or whether they would get Third-World portioned fish, rice and water.

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“Only 15 percent or so of the participants received the chicken dinner and those who were given the fish and rice were also not allowed to use utensils, but could use pieces of lettuce to scoop their food,” said Breanna Clark, DWU senior and team leader of the class that conducted the project.

During the meal, there were presentations about world hunger and speakers who have experienced or witnessed hunger before. About 180 students and coaches were in attendance and most were kept in the dark about what was planned until they got there.

“The initial reaction from many of the students was anger,” Clark said. “They did not like the idea of only having fish, rice and lettuce to eat. They seemed jealous of their friends that had the First-World meal and were anxious for the chance to get more food. There were mixed reactions from those with the First-World meal. Many were happy and relieved but others felt guilty sitting next to their friends who had less.”

Clark said the idea to use the cafeteria was a reinvention of a Hunger Banquet held on campus several years ago as part of a McGovern Conference.

-Source: Dakota Wesleyan University

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