As we approach World Food Day this fall there are over 1 billion people who are hungry.
One Billion. That's one sixth of the earth's population.
Hunger is something young children can easily sympathize with. One year the kids and I planned a mini hunger banquet. I served the kids 1/3 of a cup of uncooked rice and dirty water for breakfast, while I feasted on bagels and eggs, yogurt and fresh fruit. Eventually I shared, but not before a few tears and gasps of horror as they realized how deeply unfair the disparity was. I think they got the message.
There are plenty of resources you can use to talk to kids about global hunger issues. The Feeding Minds website is an excellent one. Children may be surprised that there there are people who are hungry right in our neighbourhood and may need some guidance to understand that hunger happens because food may not be available or that it may be available but just not accessible to certain parts of our population. The Feeding Minds website offers some great lesson plans which are easily adaptable to family discussions and include not only information about hunger but also some tools to spark ideas about what we can do to alleviate it - both in our neighbourhood and world wide.
~ Hungry planet : what the world eats by Peter Menzel
~ Let's eat! : what children eat around the world
~ The Penguin atlas of food by Erick Millstone
~ This is the way we eat our lunch: a book about children around the world
by Edith Baer
~ Food for all by Rufus Bellamy
~ Beatrice's goat by Page McBrier