EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 30, 2014

Students plan Oxfam Hunger Banquet

NORTH ANDOVER — If you live in the United States or Canada, chances are you’ll be eating a full meal tonight, maybe with dessert.

If your home is in Spain, Portugal, Greece or Thailand, you’re probably not starving, but you’re likely not going to have as much to eat as an American or a Canadian.

And if you reside in Haiti, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh or another Third World country, you’ll be lucky if you get a small bowl of rice.

Those who attend the Oxfam Hunger Banquet at North Andover High School on Monday night will have the opportunity to learn about global poverty firsthand. Everyone who buys a $10 ticket to the dinner will get a card.

If the card is for a middle-class American, the person gets to sit in an area of the cafeteria reserved for the more fortunate folks – and eat a sumptuous meal. Should you draw a card for a poor person living in an impoverished country, you’ll sit with the other Third Worlders and be served a small quantity of rice and water.

Chris Carroll, who teaches French and Spanish at North Andover High and serves as faculty adviser to the National Honor Society and the Interact club, said she introduced the idea of organizing a Hunger Banquet to both groups.

“They embraced it,” she said. The students organized the banquet, for which they have recruited numerous sponsors, including the North Andover Merchants Association and 10 local restaurants, Carroll said.

The event will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

The proceeds will be donated to Oxfam International, an organization that helps people in the developing nations, also known as the Third World, overcome poverty.

By the way, those who are relegated to scanty portions during the banquet need not go home hungry, Carroll said. There will be plenty of appetizers afterward, thanks to the local restaurants that are supporting the Hunger Banquet.

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