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Hunger Banquet. Oxfam America. Text adapted from Oxfam Hunger Banquet materials. Introduction. The world grows more than enough food to feed everyone, yet More people are hungry today than ever before an estimated one billion, one in five persons worldwide

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Hunger banquet

Hunger Banquet

Oxfam America

Text adapted from Oxfam Hunger Banquet materials


  • The world grows more than enough food to feed everyone, yet

    • More people are hungry today than ever before

    • an estimated one billion,

    • one in five persons worldwide

  • One of every three children is chronically malnourished

    • too hungry to lead an active, healthy life


  • One-third of the grain grown in the world

    • and one-half of the fish caught

    • are fed to animals in rich countries

  • U.S. daily per person calorie supply is 3,671

    • almost twice that of Sudan’s: 1,974

      • fewer calories than needed to maintain a productive life$File/feedlotcofp1995.jpg


  • Sub-Saharan Africa

    • 1 in 3 people are malnourished

    • half live on less than $1 a day

    • 30 million people required emergency food aid (2005 )


  • The roots of hunger lie in

    • Poverty, war, and the unequal distribution of resources,

    • Not in Overpopulation.

    • Many well-fed countries have more people than hungry ones.

  • Holland

    • a high-income country

    • has over 1,000 people per square mile

  • Mozambique

    • one of the world’s lowest-income countries

    • has only 48 people per square mile

  • The roots of hunger lie in

    • poverty, war,

    • unequal distribution of resources

    • Not inNatural Disasters.

  • Five years of drought in California

    • resulted in no direct loss of human life.

  • Five years of drought in Ethiopia

    • over a million people died

San Francisco

Ethiopia 1983

Oxfam hunger banquet
Oxfam Hunger Banquet

  • Everyone on earth has the same basic needs

  • only our circumstances differ

    • where we live and the culture we are born into

  • Some are born into relative prosperity and security

    • While millions are born into poverty

      • by no choice of their own

The high income group
The High Income Group

  • If you ended up in the high-income group

    • You represent the 15 percent of the world’s population

      • fortunate enough to afford a nutritious daily diet

  • You live primarily in countries like

    • the United States, Australia, France, Switzerland,

    • most countries in Western Europe

Relative World Wealth

The high income group1
The High Income Group

  • As members of this group, you share the following characteristics:

    • Your average income is over $9,076.

    • The leading cause of death among you is heart disease and diabetes

      • directly related to your over-consumption of fatty foods

        • particularly red meat

The high income group2
The High Income Group

  • Health care is more readily available to you.

  • In the U.S. there is one doctor to every 470 people

    • compared with one doctor per 7,140 people in Haiti

  • In general, your children are healthy and your infant mortality rate is low

  • Though you are well-off, millions of your fellow citizens live below the poverty line.

    • Most of them are women and children who lack access to adequate services.

The high income group3
The High Income Group

  • You could be:

    • Jennifer, an attorney

      • who lives in an affluent suburb of Boston

        • with her husband, an accountant, and two children.

    • Shinji, a well-traveled Japanese engineer

      • who lives in a comfortable one-bedroom apartment in Tokyo

The middle income group
The Middle Income Group

  • Those in the middle-income group represent roughly 25% of the world’s population.

  • There are more countries in this group than in the high-income group

    • countries like Bolivia, the Philippines, Turkey, Costa Rica, and Iran

Iranian Woman

The middle income group1
The Middle Income Group

  • What are your common characteristics?

    • Your average income ranges from $912-9,095.

    • Your children are six times more likely to die of hunger and related diseases

      • than if they lived in a high-income country

    • You must use 35% of your income to feed yourself,

      • compared with the 15% people in high-income countries spend

    • Your economies are crippled by foreign debt.

      • Debt payments can consume half of your governments’ earnings

Mexico Market

The middle income group2
The Middle Income Group

  • You could be:

    • Simcha, a man in his thirties, who operates a postcard stall in the ancient city of Jerusalem to feed his four children

    • Lucia, a schoolteacher in Prague, in the Czech Republic

      • who takes in sewing to earn extra income to support her aging parents and her children

The low income group
The Low Income Group

  • You represent the majority of the world’s population.

  • You live in countries where the average income is less than $912 a year.

  • Somalia, Honduras, India, and Vietnam are among the countries in this group

Child labor, India

The low income group1
The Low Income Group

  • As a member of this group, you share these characteristics:

    • You are chronically malnourished and eat only 2,205 calories a day

      • less than the amount needed to lead a healthy, hard-working life

    • You cannot afford to own or buy land

      • even land farmed for centuries by your ancestors

The low income group2
The Low Income Group

  • You may work on a hacienda or large plantation

    • that produces crops such as bananas, sugar, and coffee

    • for export to high-and middle-income countries

    • yet you and your family don’t get enough to eat.

  • The combined debt owed by all of your governments to wealthy nations totals $1.3 trillion

    • more than $200 per person

    • and continues to rise inexorably.

  • Unemployment and hardship in the rural areas is driving you into cities

    • where you face even greater hardships

The low income group3
The Low Income Group

  • You could be:

    • Farida, who lives in India where the forests have nearly disappeared.

      • Her people have become nomads, wandering in search of the water needed for sustenance.

    • Pierre, a farmer in Haiti who rents a hillside plot from his landlord.

      • In the dry season when nothing will grow, he will make charcoal to sell for the price of a few day’s food

Haiti farmer