From Deacon Dan:
Hunger banquet? I have been to New Year’s banquets, wedding banquets, retirement banquets, but never a Hanger Banquet. Last week I attend the one at St. Dominic’s. There was a wonderfully “Special” table in the center of the hall; other sparse tables and two rows of chairs in the back. We entered and drew a small ticket from a box. Mine was green, my wife’s was white.
As the evening began I was invited to the small beautiful table in the center of the room, my wife left behind, at least for a while. Other lucky green ticket holder joined me. One said she felt guilty, I didn’t.
Lucky for my wife, she was invited to join me. A simple reminder of the “feminization of poverty” where too many women find themselves denied access the “Special” table.
Before the meal began we learned that few people in the world eat at the “Special” table, many eat simply and some struggle for food. And even in SF the number of people who struggle to eat properly is higher than anyone thinks. Many school children receive good meals as part of their education.
As we at the “Special” table ate a wonderfully cooked meal, those at the sparse table received rice and beans, while those on the chairs waited, and waited. They finally lined up soup kitchen like and received their “cup of noodles”.
The hunger banquet pointed out quite graphically the inequality of food distribution that occurs in our world. We who shop at supermarkets with aisles filled with food often forget this fact as we “struggle” to decide which brand to buy.
Those who attended the Hunger Banquet have a better idea of why we have organizations like Bread for the World and the World Food Program. Pause as you say your grace before meals to remember those who aren’t as blessed as we are with our daily bread.