Thu, April 02

Embrace more personal action to eradicate hunger

These people sat on the floor, were served last and given rice, beans, tortillas and water. Photo courtesy of The Dunnery

These people sat on the floor, were served last and given rice, beans, tortillas and water. Photo courtesy of The Dunnery

For the first time we were participants in Verde Valley School’s 9th Oxfam Hunger Banquet. The banquet is featured as “a provocative, informative and entertaining evening that brings to life the inequalities in our world.

Participants are challenged to evaluate how our decisions affect others around the globe.

There we were, Suzie sitting on the floor with the paupers, representing more than 55 percent of the world and Jeff sitting on a chair but eating similar pauper food with a hint of vegetable, representing another 35 percent of the world.

The other 15 percent were there to be feasted, sitting at linen-covered tables with live flower centerpieces, a menu and wait table service. Several pauper guests tried to get scraps of leftovers from the feasters with little luck.

While we “ate”, VVS theatre students performing original vignettes about hunger, poverty and the inequitable distribution of resources entertained us.

Then we worked in groups to come up with solutions on how each of us could make a difference in our communities and in our own households (see below).

The annual event is a fundraiser for VVS to support girls’ education in Malawi and the school’s local hunger relief initiative. Caroline Diehl, event coordinator and the schools Global Goals Program Director told us the event raised $2500, enough to send 40 girls to school in Malawi and have some leftover for local hunger.

The Dunnery has addressed food waste in the past. Now we are asking our readers to be mindful of choices they make about everything. Minor changes in wasteful habits can make a significant difference.

Our friend, Eloise Baldauf carries reusable take-home containers every time she eats out. We ask restaurateurs to use compostable or reusable containers for their service.

We ask to only be served water when we request it. We ask for wrapped paper straws or no straws in our beverages. At the Sedona International Film Festival, we viewed and then talked to the filmmaker, Thomas A. Nazario, about his heartrending entry, Living on a Dollar a Day. Thomas is founder and president of The Forgotten International (

We put him in touch with Caroline Diehl, who is already aware of his movie and organization, but willing to take his information farther.

We also stopped at the Sunday W. Sedona farmers market in the Wells Fargo parking lot. There we met the owners of a startup, Sedona Compost. Only serving W. Sedona at present, this business offers customers weekly food scraps collection and turns it into compost that can be resold.

Martha Stewart’s April Issue features Lauren Singer, who educates others through her blog, : “After 5 years of making changes-avoiding single use disposables and eliminating what she couldn’t easily recycle, her trash output for a year fit into a single Mason jar.”

We’re certain our readers can come up with many ideas, just like Heloise to help reduce waste.

Our actions do help to eradicate hunger.

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