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At an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet, the place where you sit, and the meal that you eat, are determined by the luck of the draw—just as in real life some of us are born into relative prosperity and others into poverty.
Unless you’ve been to one of these interactive events, it’s hard to explain how memorable, emotional, and inspirational it can be, to name just a few words we’ve heard from Oxfam supporters over the years. People often get in touch to tell us how a Hunger Banquet gave them a deeper understanding of hunger and poverty, or even a whole new perspective.
While this event has been a Thanksgiving seasonal tradition for nearly 40 years, we’ve seen social media bring a fresh energy to the scene that pushes the message far beyond the walls of the room and still captures that feeling of inspiration and connection.
So far, I’m impressed by the tweets I’ve read about people’s reactions to Oxfam America Hunger Banquets this fall. Believe me, I’m in the business of writing tweets–and I know how difficult it can be to convey such a BIG feeling in 140 characters. A few that caught my eye:
— Perdeep Badhesha(@DeepNotShallow) October 16, 2012
— Fiona Ian (@localskies) October 10, 2012
@hb_planning it was an enlightening experience! I was impoverished; but that was the tastiest rice I’ve had in my life
— SLiCE CSU (@slice_csu) October 23, 2012
OxFam Hunger banquet… #eyeopening
— Jess Ratliff (@jessygirl93) September 17, 2012
This is only the beginning. Our season of action is still building momentum. Thousands of you attended World Food Day dinner discussions last month, and now, as we approach Thanksgiving, we’re continuing to raise awareness about where our food comes from and how to make the food system work so that everyone always has enough to eat.
Personally, I can’t wait to see all of the tweets, photos, and videos from this season’s events. If you’re hosting or attending a Hunger Banquet in the coming weeks, share your experiences using the hashtag #hungerbanquet on Twitter, as well as on Instagram, Pinterest, and wherever you connect with other do-gooders. We have also set up a new Twitter account, @HB_Planning, to offer help and support for planning your events.
So keep letting me know what you think. After all, Oxfam America Hunger Banquets are all about spreading the word and educating each other about the world around us.