FOREST CITY, Iowa - It's hard to believe in this world of abundance, there are 815,000,000 people starving as money piles up in the pockets of others.
On Monday night, students at Waldorf University got to learn about world hunger through a unique meal.
"It’s absolutely heartbreaking how even though on our planet we are capable of producing enough food, it is not distributed properly,” said Stanislaw Zawihaa, a senior at Waldorf University.
He is troubled by the ever present hunger gnawing at people worldwide from dawn to dusk. Political struggles, war and bad infrastructure are among the causes. Just as disturbing, there are plenty of people right here struggling to stay fed, according to Suzanne Falck-Yi, faculty advisor for the campus’ Amnesty International Club.
"We have many families in our area who have difficulty affording food for their children and themselves. Some areas of the country have food deserts. Where it might be a big city that doesn't have grocery stores in the poor neighborhoods or even rural areas where it's too far to go for groceries,” she said.
During the banquet, the room was divided up. The upper classes got to dine on a full meal of pasta, salad, and dessert. In this exercise, the upper class is considered anyone who makes over $7,200 per year. Those in the middle income group, representing 30% of the world's population, got a simple meal of rice and beans with water. The lowest class, symbolic of half of humanity, just had a little bit of rice with water and no utensils to eat with.
"This is all that people get to eat. He told us about the kids who would, to get their food it would just be rice and maybe clean water and they would eat it out of their Frisbees that they had and if they didn't have anything it would just be their hands,” said Sophomore Mara Leet.
The meal was a sobering reminder for these students of just how massive the problem of hunger is.
"We always take things for granted, when you're in a place like America, where it's so drastically different all around,” said Sophomore Ryan Swiderski.