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Host an Oxfam Hunger Banquet

Updated on October 16, 2014

Learn About Hunger and Help The World

Oxfam (Oxford Famine Relief) is an international organization with 14 branches that provide relief to disenfranchised people in 98 countries around the world.

Oxfam was founded by a group of Quaker activists at Oxford University in 1942. Today, the group remains deeply committed to providing sustain solutions that prevent poverty and social injustice.

world-poverty one dollar a day
world-poverty one dollar a day

World Hunger Statistics

Every 3.6 seconds someone dies from hunger.

One in four people or 1.3 billion of the world's total population live on less than $1 per day.

Every day, more than 24,000 people die from hunger and malnutrition according to statistics from the Oracle Thick Quest Educational Foundation.

The World Bank estimates, more than 938 million people are suffering from malnourishment and this number grows every minute.

Even more troubling, Americans waste approximately 40% of the food we produce. That equates to approximately 100,000 tons per day. Waste occurs during every stage of the process. To learn more about our chronic food problem, click here.

Food waste also occurs from well-intentioned restrictions of the size, shape and uniformity of all produce. Producers lose vast amounts of money when entire shipments don't conform to these standards. To make matters worse, it's a crime for producers to give these fruits away!

To see a running total of current hunger statistics, visit

American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It)
American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It)

The amount of food thrown away in homes, grocery stores and institutions in staggering. Learn more about the epidemic of waste and how America can help solve its own problems.


Oxfam Products

Learn more about world hunger and diverse international cultures with these products from Oxfam and hunger activists.

South and North, East and West: ~ The Oxfam Book of Children's Stories
South and North, East and West: ~ The Oxfam Book of Children's Stories

Introduced by comedic legend Whoopie Goldberg, this Oxfam book features a collection of enrapturing fairy tales and legends from around the world, which are accompanied by illustrations from Nicola Bayley of Patchwork Cat fame.

Oxfam Africa
Oxfam Africa

Africa is one of the poorest continents, yet its culture and music is remarkably diverse. Discover all of the continent's musical heritage and modern genres on this comprehensive Oxfam compilation.


Learn More About Oxfam - You Can Fight Hunger Too!

What Is An Oxfam Hunger Banquet?

Hosting a Hunger Banquet is a great way to raise awareness about social issues while collecting money for a worth-while cause. Here's how it works:

Modeled after the world's economic structure, the Hunger Banquet represents each income class. 15% of the attendees will be high income bracket, 35% of middle income and 50% of the attendees represent the world's poorest people. To determine the correct ratio, it's essential to have a good estimate of how many people will be attending your event.

High income participants will be treated to a sit-down meal with linens and china. Middle income participants will receive a hearty helping of rice and beans while the poorest people will receive a small amount of rice. When I was involved in hosting the banquet, we used banana leaves for a truly authentic experience.

Part of the fun is you don't know, what meal you'll be eating until you pick a ticket at the door. An enlightening meal isn't the only feature at a Hunger Banquet. Guests will also enjoy an educational film, a keynote speech from a respected local official and optional performances.

If a local dance troupe, folk group or band is willing to play at your event, it can bring a great response from the public.

Who Can Host a Hunger Banquet?

Hosting a Hunger Banquet takes a lot of hard work and team cooperation, but it's well worth the effort. Anyone can host a hunger banquet. However, school groups, social organizations and faith groups are the most frequent sponsors. By charging $5, your group can easily make $400 if 80 people attend your event.

For for information on hosting your own Hunger Banquet, visit Oxfam's dedicated event page, which includes a variety of free resources for planning your event. Register online and download the Hunger Banquet Toolkit that includes a complete checklist and breakdown of everything you'll need.

To help promote your event and make your hunger banquet a success, Oxfam will provide you with free posters, a DVD, an Oxfam banner and all the promotional materials you need to spread the word. Click the Oxfam link to order.

Host a Hunger Banquet

What It Takes

  • A Great Location - like a gymnasium with lots of room for table and attendees.
  • A core group of 10+ organizers who can assist with planning, set up, cooking and clean up.
  • Food Donations - Food can be donated by people in your group, parents or even a local store. If they can't donate, maybe they can give you a good deal!
  • A Keynote Speaker - this can be a teacher, local celebrity or anyone who you think the crowd with love.
  • Video Equipment to project an educational film to the audience as well as a hunger clock.
  • Table and Chairs.
  • Linens, China and silverware (this can be donated or rented from a local party supply vendor.
  • Cooks - anyone can help cook rice and beans, but you might need some extra help with high-income meals. Ofxam success, paste, sauce and juice for the high income attendants, but you can go as fancy as you like. We had a local caterer donate some time to cook a wonderful meal for the lucky high-income guests.
  • Secondary Entertainment, such as a dance troupe, can make your event even more exciting.

Have Your Hosted a Hunger Banquet? - How much money did you raise?

How was The Hunger Banquet Response in Your Area?

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Ever Been?

Have You Ever Been To A Hunger Banquet?

Buy A Gift, Benefit a Charity--Make Your Purchase Count - Many Organizations Donate All or Part of Their Profits to Charity

Duchy Originals Cookbook
Duchy Originals Cookbook

The British organic food brand Duchy Originals donates 100% of their profits to charity and they now have a cookbook to complement their organic food line.

Newman's Own Organics Fig Newmans, Low Fat, 12-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12)
Newman's Own Organics Fig Newmans, Low Fat, 12-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12)

Newman's Own donates 100% of their profits to charity. How can you beat that!

Endangered Species Panther, Dark Chocolate (88%), 3-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12)
Endangered Species Panther, Dark Chocolate (88%), 3-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12)

Eating chocolate is finally good for the environment! The Endangered Species brand manufactures delicious shade-grown cocoa and profits support great environmental causes.

Paint Me Wise - 1 - Lipstick
Paint Me Wise - 1 - Lipstick

Finally, you can look great can be green at the same time with this 75% organic lipstick from Peacekeeper Cosmetics, a company that remarkable donates 100% of its profits to charity. They have eco-friendly nail polish too!!


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Is ending hunger acheivable? - Tell me what you think

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    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      Really appreciated this introduction to such a worthy cause (Oxfam). Hunger will exist until each of us determine it is not an acceptable outcome for anyone. I will explore the opportunities to be a part of this movement and do something tangible. Thank you for bringing this to my attention (Hunger Banquet events). I feel inspired to support this movement.