When guests arrive at an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet, they draw tickets at random that assign each to a high-, middle-, or low-income tier—based on the latest statistics about the number of people living in poverty. Each income level receives a corresponding meal. The 20 percent in the high-income tier are served a sumptuous meal; the 30 percent in the middle-income section eat a simple meal of rice and beans; and the 50 percent in the low-income tier help themselves to small portions of rice and water.
A master of ceremonies reads a script to guide participants through the interactive event. Finally, all guests are invited to share their thoughts after the meal and to take action to right the wrong of poverty.