PICTURED ABOVE: The attendees at Feast of Sharing walk under the balloon arches to the tables where they will be seated for dinner. Photo by Maria Harrison.
Hosted by Central Market, Feast of Sharing brought together volunteers to serve free, hot meals to anyone in need of one at Fair Park on Nov. 9. Besides food, this event also offers a night out to families by providing crafts, live music, face painting and rock climbing.
Community Service Board Chair and senior Shreya Gunukula, who has volunteered at Feast of Sharing three times, enjoys this opportunity because of its magnitude.
“It’s very rare that you get to see so many people from different backgrounds interacting in the same space like that,” Gunukula said. “The level of resources provided at Feast of Sharing is unlike any other event.”
Alongside serving meals and offering other services, the volunteers are able to interact with the Feast of Sharing attendees whether it’s at the dinner table or while painting a butterfly on a child’s face.
In addition to the students who signed up to volunteer at Feast of Sharing, the entirety of the Hockaday boarding department also volunteered at Feast of Sharing this year.
“By walking around, meeting new people and participating in these activities, the volunteers are allowed to develop relationships and realize diversity in the Dallas community,” Gunukula said.
Hockaday has volunteered at Feast of Sharing since the beginning of this event in Dallas in 2007. Within the five hour event, Central Market prepared enough resources to serve meals for 20,000 people.
Director of Service Learning Laura Day likes Feast of Sharing because everyone is treated with respect and dignity at this event.
Instead of a buffet or family style eating, attendees at Feast of Sharing sit at the long tables while volunteers bring around a meal, an assortment of drinks and pumpkin pie. Additionally, Central Market does not limit the amount of food that an attendee can have.
“I love to see [the students] connecting with people,” Day said. “Sitting with someone and painting their face and seeing that you’re really making a difference.”
According to senior and House Council member Hibah Naviwala, House Council discussed the importance of promoting service within the boarders’ community here in Dallas. Thus, residence plans on alternating volunteering at the Feast of Sharing and having the annual dinner at Hockaday.
“I love that boarders ate the same meal being served because it showed that even though we all have different backgrounds and stories, we are all equals at the dinner table,” Naviwala said.
Maria Harrison – Features Editor