News By Readers
Local Girl Scout Troop Hosts Hunger Banquet;
Cadettes Plan Hunger Banquet
By Stacey Campbell
Four Girl Scout Cadettes, who are high school freshman, have been researching and learning about the issue of hunger (globally and locally) as part of the process to earn their Silver Award, the second highest leadership award a Girl Scout can receive. As part of the research, Troop 79 organized and held a Hunger Banquet to help educate others about world hunger in a visual way. Brittany Cafferty, Cassandra Campbell, LeeAnne Padilla and Megan Pavel gave no hint of what banquet participants would experience ahead of time. They randomly chose a color-coded card indicating one of the three groups – high, middle or low income. The high-income group enjoyed a full, three-course, home-cooked meal, choice of beverage and dessert, while the middle income group were seated at tables with not enough chairs for everyone, served buffet style with a menu of hot dogs, canned corn, chips, cookies and water. The low-income participants were seated on the floor and given a ration of a half cup of rice and water to share. Then, the Cadettes tagged certain individuals to stand and represent a real-life scenario that would move an individual or several from one income level to another. For instance, those originally seated at the middle-income table may not enjoy a meal because their life situation changed and they were moved to the low-income group. This created a visual representation that seemed to be a powerful reality check for those in attendance. The Cadettes asked those who received little to eat to not go home and eat, but instead allow their grumbling stomachs to remind them of the majority of the world’s population who live with minimal food every day. “I thought the event was fantastic. It was definitely informative and interactive,” said Jennifer Kelley, a Girl Scout leader who was in attendance. “It wasn't just a banquet where everyone went home stuffed. There were lessons taught and I believe learned.” One mom of a fifth-grade student who attended and was only fed rice and water said her daughter came home from the banquet with great information about the issue of hunger, which she shared with her family and is eager to make a difference. The Cadettes chose Christian Community Action as the benefactor for the food items donated as part of the banquet, as well as those previously donated this summer from the Vacation Bible School program at Trinity Presbyterian Church of Flower Mound. Jennifer Leney, chief operating officer at CCA, was the guest speaker who spoke on the issue of hunger as it occurs in the community. She explained that this is the season when the pantry shelves are mostly bare, so the additional 200 or more food items collected was timely and appreciated.