Annual UVU Banquet Brings Awareness To Poverty And Hunger
February 8, 2012
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Jim Rayburn (801) 863-8504
Aiming to increase awareness of Utah’s hunger and poverty issues, Utah Valley University’s Volunteer & Service-Learning Center and Student Service Council will host the annual UVU Hunger Banquet on Feb. 16. All proceeds will benefit the non-profit organization Utahns Against Hunger.
The Hunger Banquet begins at 7 p.m. in the Grande Ballroom of the Sorensen Student Center. Advance tickets, which can be purchased at Campus Connection in the Sorensen Student Center, are $6. Tickets at the door are $7.
“The Hunger Banquet provides participants with an excellent opportunity to become better educated about poverty issues in our area so that they can become part of the solution,” says Laura Christopherson, program coordinator for UVU’s Volunteer & Service-Learning Center. “Through a night of education and awareness, UVU students and community members will have the opportunity not only to learn about local poverty issues, but also to find out about ways to get engaged in initiatives to end poverty. One in every 50 UVU students is homeless and 12.8 percent of people living in Utah County are living below the poverty level.”
In past years the banquet has drawn around 200 participants, who are assigned a random economic status upon arrival, which determines the level of meal they are served. The “lower-class” participants will sit on the floor and be fed rice and beans. Those assigned “middle-class” status are served pizza, while the “upper-class” participants will be treated to a three-course meal in more comfortable accommodations.
“We want to fit people into the different economic classes so they can get a feel of what others living every day under similar circumstances might be experiencing,” says Kylie Holt, student coordinator of UVU’s Student Service Council.
Gina Cornia, executive director of Utahns Against Hunger, will speak to participants about the organization’s efforts to address hunger and poverty issues in Utah.
Participants will also hear from Keira Sloan Scholz, author of the popular and inspirational blog post “Dear American Taxpayers”. In her blog, Scholz, the 24-year-old daughter of a drug-addicted single mother of six, praises taxpayers for funding the social programs that helped support her and provide care for her as a child. Scholz’s blog was the topic of a Tampa Bay Times news article. Scholz believes there is power and inspiration in sharing stories of gratitude.
The banquet will also feature four dances from different groups sponsored by UVU’s Multicultural Center. Several community social service organizations will stage displays at the banquet where participants can obtain information on each organization’s services and needs.
“The purpose of an event like this to make people aware of the needs in the community and show them how they can help. We want them to have the opportunity to apply what they learn and to be able to make a difference and help,” Holt said.
For more information about Utahns Against Hunger, visit www.UAH.org. To read Scholz’s blog, visit nickandkeira.blogspot.com/2011/11/dear-american-taxpayers.html.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.