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Finding Solutions to Hunger

Participants will begin the study of hunger/ food justice by examining their own eating patterns. They will keep food diaries of the amounts and kinds of food they eat every day and research their calorie and nutrient intake. They will reflect on the importance of food in their own lives and where their food comes from. They will compare their own food diaries with students in classrooms around the world, to understand how different cultures eat different types of foods and consume different amounts of calories and nutrients.

After sharing food diaries and analyzing types and amounts of food consumed per person, students will participate in activities to help understand how food and resources are distributed globally. (A good activity for this is the World Map Activity from Heifer International; Lesson 2 - Eating the Way the World Eats from Finding Solutions to Hunger – http://www.kidscanmakeadifference.org; OXFAM Banquet; etc.) They will learn about the difference between famine and chronic hunger, understand the problems of obesity, and how big the hunger problem is.

The next area of study is to learn about why people are hungry. Food First, the Institute for Food and Development Policy, has an updated article “12 Myths About Hunger” based on Frances Moore Lappe’s World Hunger: 12 Myths, that can be used as background material. Also, Finding Solutions to Hunger has great lessons to use. Here, students discover the problem is not scarcity, but distribution; they will look at issues of population growth, the legacy of colonialism, foreign aid, importance of female education, corporate vs. sustainable farming, lifestyles of industrial nations, and the impact of the media.

Finally, students will become problem solvers in working to end hunger. Participants will create a service-learning project to educate their school/community about the issue of hunger and how people can effect change. They will document their project through video or digital photography and share it online. We will create an online manual containing projects, lesson ideas, and resources that others can use to teach about hunger.