Auburn’s fight against hunger carried on this month with the Committee of 19’s Hunger Week held from Oct. 15 to 21.
Committee of 19, a student led organization with representatives from every college, aims to end hunger not only in the world, but also in the community. The committee serves to engage students through service initiatives, fundraising and advocacy.
“Hunger is our neighbor,” Lauren Little, president of Committee of 19, said. “And it’s also the world’s greatest solvable problem.”
Keeping in mind that Alabama is the second hungriest state in the nation, the committee planned for their Empty Bowls Banquet. This Tuesday event took place in conjunction with World Food Day.
The committee hoped to devour another successful campaign as they sold student tickets at $10 and general admission at $20. One hundred percent of the proceeds went to the East Alabama Food Bank, whose reserves are at an all time low.
“What people don’t realize is 16,000 families are chronically food insecure just in Lee County,” Little said.
EAFB supplies food aid agencies between here and Atlanta. These agencies provide food for some the most impoverished communities in the state.
“For the first time in years, EAFB is having to turn away families,” Little said. With the winter quickly approaching, it is important to replenish the food bank or families will go hungry.
The committee partnered with the College of Agriculture and Auburn’s art department, also known as the Art in Ag group, to raise awareness of the world’s leading preventable cause of death.
“It's an unlikely collaboration of two departments with the idea that two very different groups can come together to make a difference,” Katie Jackson, College of Agriculture Editor, said.
The partnership between the agriculture and art departments produced beautiful results. The cool air filled the Agriculture Heritage Park barn as students, faculty, staff and community members filled the seats.
Even international students from Italy and Honduras joined the banquet. These students also fight hunger in their home countries. Although there was a language barrier, there was no lost-in-translation atmosphere. Everyone understood the purpose of the night.
Those who bought tickets were allowed to pick out hand-painted, handcrafted ceramic bowls made by Auburn’s art department. As individuals dipped their bread in the soup, each bite fed a burning appetite to cure hunger.
“The bowl is a powerful symbol,” Martha Henk, the executive director of EAFB, said. “We have a responsibility to pass the blessing of food onto others.”
The night concluded after presentations from Henk and the Beat Bama Food Drive.
Before individuals left the banquet, they were asked to fulfill a simple request. “Take your bowls home as reminder of the hungry families not only around the world, but also in Lee County,” Little said.