Each year, the Christian Brothers Academy community rallies around the Thanksgiving Food Drive, an annual staple of the beginning of holiday season. Student Council promotes the drive vigorously, homeroom teachers challenge their students (see: Mr. Spiedel), and parents happily send their sons to school with bags of canned goods.
To kick-off the 2017 drive this past Monday, CBA named this week “Poverty Awareness Week” to educate the 940 young men about the desperate needs of many around the world.
The highlight of Poverty Awareness Week was the Hunger Banquet on Wednesday morning.
The Hunger Banquet began four years ago as an evening event where students and their families could learn more about the hunger plague throughout the world. This year, the administration made it an assembly for the entire student body with an interactive hunger demonstration, which was designed by Oxfam America.
Organized by Mr. Matt Butler, Mr. Tim Sewnig and members of the Student Council, each homeroom was assigned a level: high class, middle class, low class. Those in the high class were seated on the varsity gym stage, where students enjoyed home-cooked breakfast sandwiches, fresh fruit and waiter service. Students in the middle class were seated on the bleachers, where they were given buttered bread and juice boxes. Finally, the low class were seated on the gym floor, where they were given just a cracker packet and a small bottle of water.
The idea behind the different sitting areas was to visually and numerically demonstrate to the students how much of the world population sits in the low class- 50 percent of the CBA student body- with a strikingly small amount residing in the high class (15 percent of the student body). About 35 percent of the students were placed in the middle class.
The spirit of the week was rooted in St. John Baptist de La Salle’s call to a preferential option for the poor. It was intended to support the growth of our student’s global awareness and to foster the further development of a Christian, others first ethic. The week also included a poverty awareness focused slideshow that played in the cafeteria all week.
The school-wide Poverty Awareness Week follows up two dedicated service immersion trips by CBA students, where they assisted less fortunate communities in both Camden, New Jersey and Browning, Montana.
The Thanksgiving Food Drive will run through November 20th, the Monday before Thanksgiving.