Kids get first hand lesson about hunger awareness and socio-economic classes

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - It wasn't just a chance to get out of class, as students from GCT, Paragould, CRA and Marmaduke were able to spend their Friday afternoon at a Hunger Banquet. The experience was meant to teach students some very important lessons about hunger insecurity.

As the students filed in, they were placed into different socio-economic tiers. Upper class, middle class and lower class. Students were fed according to their socio-economic status. During the meal, GCT FFA members talked to the students about what kind of life each group lived.

FFA member, Morgan Faulkner said the amount of students in each group represents worldwide statistics.

"It's true percentages that have been tried and true they and they are divvied up among all the people in this room. So if the world was how many people were in this room, that's how they'd be eating," Faulkner explained.

Faulkner said the students who were at the banquet today will hopefully realize that hunger is a problem not just across the nation, but here in Region 8 as well.

Dustin Schandevel was one of the few students who got to enjoy an "upper class" meal. Those students ate steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, a roll and dessert.

"I almost feel selfish because they don't eat much and we have a pretty good meal," Schandevel said.

Four tables were dedicated to "middle class" students like Liz Gatlin, who ate chicken nuggets, mac & cheese and mashed potatoes.

"I was kind of happy that I wasn't getting rice and beans but I was kind of sad I wasn't getting upper class (food)," Gatlin told Region 8 News.

After eating a "lower class" meal like much of the students at the event, Victoria West said she was a little irritated she didn't get better food, but it taught her something.

"A lot of appreciation for what my parents do for me to provide and thankfulness that I'm able to have a meal every night," West said.

GCT Agri teacher, Amie Cole said that was the point.

"Our focus is to educate people in our community about childhood hunger," Cold said.

Cole also just received a grant from Youth Service America to further educate people on childhood hunger and how to prepare healthier meals.

In case you were wondering, the students who ate a "lower class" meal were also given a hamburger on their way out of the door.

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