We are what we eat

October 16, 2013

Rich Man Poor Man dinner

 

University of Calgary medical students' Rich Man Poor Man Dinner offers a glimpse into global poverty while supporting local charities.

I plan to do community health work, both at home and abroad....Events like this really open your eyes to the need and to the possibility to effect change.

VIDEO

Learn more about Helping Babies Breathe, a training program (supported by the Rich Man Poor Man fundraising dinner) developed to teach neonatal resuscitation techniques in resource-limited areas.

Rich Man Poor Man fundraising dinnerThey say you can tell a lot about a person by what they eat.

In the first world, that usually means you can tell if they’re battling their weight or cutting back on salt. But for much of the developing world, the food you’d find on their plates reflects poverty, not choice.

That disparity, and its underlying causes, is the theme behind the annual Rich Man Poor Man fundraising dinner on October 26. The event is hosted by the University of Calgary (U of C) Medical Students Association.

Now in its fifth year, the Rich Man Poor Man dinner will raise funds for three organizations:

  • The Student-Run Clinic at the U of C.
  • Helping Babies Breathe.
  • L’Arche Calgary.

The event also serves to raise awareness of what it means to be poor in a global context.

During the dinner, one random person at each table of eight will receive a decadent, western meal while the other seven receive the “poor man’s” meal typical to the region being featured that year.

Rich Man Poor Man fundraising dinner“This year we’re serving a typical Laos meal, which contains very little protein,” explains Carmen Binding, a second year medical student at the U of C and one of the 25 organizers of the event.

Binding, who attended as a guest three years ago, recalls that when the dinner was served to her table, the random rich man felt so bad that he couldn’t actually eat the meal and insisted on receiving the poor man meal instead.

“It really drives home how 10% of the population has 90% of the world’s wealth,” says Binding, who (together with Amanda Comeau) is one of the vice presidents of the Global and Public Health Interest Group at the U of C.

Binding stresses that the event isn’t about making anyone feel guilty, but about encouraging people to make a difference. And that’s something she intends to continue doing throughout her medical career.

“I plan to do community health work, both at home and abroad,” says Binding, who just returned from an elective in Uganda. “Events like this really open your eyes to the need and to the possibility to effect change.”

More information

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