The Hunger Awareness Dinner also raises money for the South Plains Food Bank and TTU Graduate & International Food Pantry.
Skyviews Restaurant is best known for its high-quality food and, thanks to its location on the top floor of the Bank of America building at 19th Street and University Avenue, unparalleled views of Texas Tech University and the city of Lubbock.
On Nov. 10, more than half of its diners will spend the first course appreciating only the view.
On that day, Skyviews and members of the customer relations course in the restaurant, hotel and institution management program (RHIM) are hosting the Hunger Awareness Dinner, designed to introduce customers to the reality of food inequity around the world and even in the Lubbock city limits.
The Hunger Awareness Dinner works like this: Dinner guests will be assigned at random to tables representing the divergent economic conditions of the world's population. Each table will get a different first course that represents the typical meal of that income level. For 15 percent of the diners, that first course will be a heady shrimp Caesar salad. For another 30 percent, it will be beans and rice eaten family style. The remaining 55 percent, representing more than half of the world's population, will go through a refugee line for rice and water.
"As students, it is important for us to recognize the role hunger plays locally and among students at Texas Tech," said Kelsey Carpenter, a student in the customer relations course. "The dinner is our way of building awareness and raising funds to help these wonderful organizations provide food for the hungry."
Guests will be asked to take notes about how they feel and how others in the room are eating, then there will be discussion and an interactive presentation about hunger. But no one will go home hungry; after the first course and discussion, guests will partake in a Gleanings Buffet donated by local hotels and restaurants.
The dinner also is a fundraiser for, and an opportunity to recognize the efforts of, the South Plains Food Bank and Wreck Hunger: the TTU Graduate & International Food Pantry, both of which are working to resolve food inequity in the area. The Wreck Hunger food pantry works specifically with international and graduate students, which is an often overlooked population.
Garvin O'Neil, the professor for the organizing RHIM class, said they are hoping the Hunger Awareness Dinner will help people recognize the problem throughout the world and in Lubbock and be more proactive about reducing hunger and food insecurity on the South Plains.
"It's a pleasure to see the passion of our students and the generous support of our restaurant community in putting on this event," he said. "It is gratifying to see the genuine compassion of our students in supporting the great outreach of the food bank and the Wreck Hunger pantry."
Skyviews will open at 5:30 p.m. for a silent auction and raffle. The dinner and program begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for students and $30 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased by calling (806) 834-2570 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.