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Monmouth University Annual Hunger Breakfast

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ– Monmouth University’s freshman seminar classes brought the reality of global hunger to fellow students on Tuesday, November 24, 2014.  Students and faculty gathered in Magill Club for the annual Hunger Breakfast hosted by the first year seminar courses on food and hunger

This plate represents the breakfast of a high-income individual.
This plate represents the breakfast of a high-income individual.

and the Office of Service Learning and Community Service. The Hunger Breakfast is an interactive seminar to teach people about the harsh realities of global hunger.
As guests walked through the doors of Magill Club, each person was handed a colored card with a short excerpt written on it. Guests were asked to sit at the table corresponding with the color of their card. The colored cards were split into three categories; low-income, middle-income, and high-income; each card included a description of a person who would fall into this category. Only six guests received cards that placed them at the high-income table. The high-income table was given a full breakfast, including an apple, banana, muffin, hard-boiled egg, granola bar, a box of apple juice, and tea. Around 20 guests were placed them at the middle-income table and their breakfast included a muffin and a juice box. The low-income group was the largest group, they were not given a table and had to sit on the floor. The low-income group received a breakfast of donated peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that had been squished during their transit, and small cups of Coca-Cola.
After all guests were seated, MU Political Science Professor and Interim Director for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Dr. R. Datta explained the seating and food arrangement. Datta explained the tables simulated the distribution of food in the real world; higher income people having access to larger and healthier food and lower income people only having access to smaller portions and unhealthier food. A microphone was passed around the room as students shared their thoughts and feelings.  All guests were then welcomed to enjoy a breakfast buffet.
The Hunger Breakfast also doubled as a food drive to benefit The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Pete Grote, Development Coordinator for The FoodBank, informed the audience of hunger within local communities and what steps individuals can take to conquer it. Dan Ratner, Director of Operations for the non-profit organization Move For Hunger also spoke to the audience about the importance of donating canned goods and other non-perishables to food banks around the community.
Monmouth University senior Carly Long said, “I was under the impression that the breakfast would be served and then we would watch a film on world hunger. Actually seeing fellow students sit on the floor while I sat at the table and ate made me realize I take always having access to food for granted.”