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Coginchaug H.S. Hosts Annual Hunger Awareness Banquet

Students raise money and awareness for world hunger

CRHS's ECO club hosted it's annual Hunger Awareness Banquet and Dessert Auction on Thursday evening.This annual event helps to bring awareness to the community  about the problem of world hunger.

The evening began by each guest picking a slip of paper with either a picture of a windmill, an elephant or a platypus. The significance of these were to put you in a social class where you would then have your meal. The windmill signified the upper class, the smallest group, who were seated at a set table and served a meal of salad and lasagna. The next group, the elephant group, represented the middle class. This group slightly larger in number, sat at tables and helped themselves to soup, bread and cider. The platypus group represented the largest group of people-the lower class. The guests who ended up in this group sat on blankets on the floor and feasted on white rice and water. Yum!

The three groups represented the social classes of the world and signified to each guest the impact those social classes have on something as basic as food and hunger. We live in a world of plentiful resources. Everyone has the same basic needs, yet there are over 925 million people in the world who go hungry.

In addition to the meal that was enjoyed, the guests were treated to a short DVD presentation during dinner brought to the group by Oxfam America. Oxfam is an international relief and developmental organization that creates lasting solutions to help poverty, hunger and injustice throughout the world. The DVD was promoting a cause called Sisters on the Planet. This is a campaign helping to empower women and the important roles they play in helping to stop world hunger.

A special guest and speaker for the evening was Lydia Asante. Lydia was born in the Republic of Ghana and now resides in Connecticut. Lydia spoke about her trip back to Ghana last year and the changes she witnessed since she lived there as a young girl. She gave a short history on her native country, but her main goal was to speak about the extremely high poverty and poor education levels in Ghana. There is great disparity between the levels of education depending on where you live. Her goal is to open a learning center called Lydia's Place in the rural area of Jamasi. Her philosophy is that every child deserves a chance to learn and succeed in life no matter who or where they are. She hopes her center will include a school building, woman's vocational center, health care center and outdoor gardens. Her goal is to open the center within 3-5 years.

The evening ended with the annual dessert auction. Many delicious desserts were sold, but the famous homemade chocolate cake made by Susan Michael, teacher and coordinator of the event, brought in the highest sale of the night. After a bidding war the cake sold for just over $60!  A thank you goes out to all the generous bidders of the evening. Overall, the evening was quite a successful! Between ticket sales, donations and the dessert auction the night raised over $700 to be split between Oxfam, Lydia Assante's cause of choice and the CT Foodbank. There were also nonperishable goods collected at the door that will be donated to the Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown. A special thanks was offered to all the local businesses who donated items, including Lino's Market, Durham Market, Lyman Orchards and Durham In Bloom.

CRHS  clubs and students host many community events through out the year. This was yet another example of just how aware our students, families and community members are of real issues and how to help make a difference. Thank-you to the members of Eco club for a lovely evening. This is an annual event so watch for next years Hunger Banquet, attend and help make a difference!

Susan Michael April 03, 2011 at 12:06 AM
ECO ended up raising a total of $853 for hunger relief and collected 40 nonperishable food items. Plus, the attendees utilized the composting bins well! This article summarized a great event perfectly. We have generous businesses in town, great students who put a lot of effort into helping others, and wonderful people who are very generous. Thanks to everyone who helped in some way!

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