Vermont Zen Center Hunger Banquet

Supporting Oxfam America & Local Food Shelves

Sunday, November 3, 2019  |  4:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Vermont Zen Center
 There are some problems so big and so entrenched it is easy to believe they will never be solved. Hunger is one of these problems. I doubt if there is a single moment in our history when all human beings have had enough to eat . . . Yet a lifetime of experience has taught me that there is no problem so great it cannot be solved, no injustice so deeply entrenched it cannot be overcome. And that includes hunger.
  • —Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
  •  Income and wealth inequality is a matter of life and death. In 2008, college-educated white men had life expectancies of 14.2 years longer than black men with fewer than 12 years of education. The rich get rich and are living longer. The poor get poorer and, in many cases, are dying younger. We need a national health care program which guarantees health care for ALL.
    • —Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • What is a Hunger Banquet?

  • Hunger Banquet

    The Hunger Banquet is an interactive opportunity for people to see first-hand the effects of poverty throughout the world.

  • At a traditional Hunger Banquet, this is what happens: As people enter the banquet hall each person is randomly assigned a number which corresponds with being in the high, middle, or low income group.

    • 15% of the people receive a number which puts them in the high income group; these people sit at a well-appointed table and enjoy a three-course meal.
    • 25% of the people receive a number which puts them in the middle income group; they sit in chairs at a plain table and eat rice and beans.
    • 60% of the attendees—the low income group—sit on the floor, and receive only rice and water. They experience the lot of the millions of people throughout the world who live in poverty.

    Hunger Banquet at the Vermont Zen Center

    The Hunger Banquet at the Zen Center is conducted differently. When you arrive, you pick a card which will designate whether you are in the low, middle or high income group. The evening begins with readings which dramatize the different income levels, followed by brief talks about world hunger and access to resources such as health care, housing, education, and jobs. After this, everyone—no matter which group they are in—is invited to eat a full meal donated by local restaurants. Unlike in the real world, no one will go home hungry. Because this is more than just a meal, we suggest that you do not bring very young children to this event.

    Limited Number of Tickets

    A limited number of tickets are available. The minimum contribution is $35 per person plus a canned or boxed vegetarian food item for the food shelf. Since all funds go directly to alleviate hunger, if you are able to pay more for your ticket, we welcome you to do so. All donations are tax exempt to the full extent allowed by law.


  • Silent Auction

  • During the evening there will be many items for silent auction donated by local businesses. So come prepared to bid! At the end of the meal leftovers will be packaged and sold. Again, all proceeds go to hunger relief organizations.

What to Bring

  • A packaged vegetarian food item for the Emergency Food Shelf.
  • $$ for the silent auction. We can accept credit cards, but cash is preferable as the full amount will go to hunger relief.
  • Slippers or socks to wear indoors as shoes are not worn inside the Zen Center.
  • How to Participate

    If you would like to attend, you can PURCHASE A TICKET ONLINE or send an email to either of the Hunger Banquet ticket coordinators, Eric Berger or Nina Thompson. Since all proceeds go to organizations that work to eradicate hunger, even if you are unable to attend, would you consider making a donation?

  • Thank you for your support of hunger relief organizations!