By Gregory Hauserman, Live Wire Staff Writer

Photo by Lucy Hurston

On Tuesday, February 21, Manchester Community College held the Oxfam Hunger Seminar in the GPA Commons from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event discussed the issue on food insecurities, and it directed an important message of not only stopping hunger on campus amongst the student body, but also outside of campus.

Upon approaching the room, there was a peculiar seating arrangement in which several students were seated on the floor, others were sparsely spread about tables, sitting on chairs.

The levels of seating were arranged by the respective classes. Quantities and qualities of food were respondent to the 3 major levels of classes: the poor, the middle class, and the wealthy.

Rice and baked beans were served to those seated on the floor, while spaghetti and bolognese sauce was reserved for those sitting at tables. A delectable salad had sat at the banquet hall, and it was safe to assume those seated in the hall were in fact able to indulge all of the available food, with frivolity of portion.

Rice and beans in cylinder bowls. Photo by Lucy Hurston.

A banquet table sat only a few guests in attendance, and there was an obvious difference of not only the kinds of food each group was eating, but the portion of food being served.

Most notably was the idea of nearly 6 large cylindrical metal bowls; all filled with food, most of it not even touched.

Whereupon this gathering ended, guests in attendance celebrated with 3 different kinds of pizza: supreme, pepperoni, and cheese. Along with this were around four to five different sodas, including an indulgent supply of fresh water. Everyone helped themselves to these delicacies.

Most participants of the event exclaimed how informal, and vitally important it was such an event would take place.

In attendance were some who would have experienced poverty growing up, and being without; while others were enveloped in a sense of understanding a common topic from a real world perspective before their own eyes.

Helping to expand the topic beyond our TV screens, facts and figures, the editorials plea of combatting such a crisis, it showcased a perspective of real world contrasts, which by and large most cannot truly understand until experiencing it first-hand.

Students listening attentively during seminar. Photo by Lucy Hurston.

Trent Barber, director of student activities at MCC, spoke out on the issue and event itself. “It’s important that people know they’re not alone,” he said. “If at least one person understands this, it can help others also see this.”

There are services available in our community to fight against hunger outside of school, Barber said.

Relenting the pride some may encounter when deciding to use these services, it couldn’t be stressed enough that people remember they’re not alone in the fight against hunger, and to utilize these services regardless of one’s own prejudice.

“The problem of hunger can be fought, and won,” Barber said. “There’s an ample amount of resources available to us, especially on campus; that community engagement and fully utilizing the services available to us, will result in more positive outcomes solving the issue of hunger through time,” he said.

While not all people expected were in attendance, if one person out of the thousand attending is inspired to act, or even utilize these resources, it brings us all one step closer to our goal.