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Global Education

Five Ways Your Class Can Contribute to Ending Hunger

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a global collaboration led by the United Nations to end hunger and poverty, create sustainable cities and communities and make healthcare affordable by 2030.

SDG 2: Zero Hunger highlights the importance of universal access to nutritious food, food insecurity, and sustainable agriculture. Today, agriculture is the largest employer in the world, yet one in nine people in the worldwide (about 795 million) are undernourished. So: how could you explore this issue with students? Here are five ways you and your students can join the movement to end hunger around the world.

1. Find local experts.

Find people in your community who work to fight food insecurity on the front lines. Challenge your students to interview them (face-to-face or via Skype) about who is hungry in their local communities. These conversations can help you and your students understand how to take action in responsible and effective ways. Possible local experts include:

  • People who run food pantries and soup kitchens
  • Community gardeners
  • City or county food stamps administrators
  • Nutritionists
  • Health care workers

2. Sharpen your critical lens

Ask difficult questions about hunger. How is hunger represented in the media? What stories about hunger get told? Do a basic Google image search of ‘hunger’ and see what kinds of images surface. What kinds of people are represented? Who isn’t represented? How might these stories and images impact this issue? Use Project Look Sharp’s Key Questions for Analyzing Media Messages to guide students in critical reflection about how the issue of hunger is represented in the media.

3. Grow your network

Twitter is home to dynamic conversations about addressing hunger, including voices from activists, advocates, healthcare workers and educators. Explore the hashtags below for resources, inspiration and possible collaborators.

4. Connect students to homegrown food

Even people with enough food to eat can still suffer from the impact of hunger. One aspect of food insecurity is malnutrition, or a lack of nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables. Consider volunteering with your class at a local community garden or start your own. You can also challenge students to create a healthy meal plan for their family, within a budget.

5. Reduce food waste at school and in your community

Collaborate with your lunchroom staff to rethink how lunch is served to cut down on food waste. Encourage your students to redesign the cafeteria using this design challenge. You can also work with your local food pantry to develop creative ideas for how to distribute leftover food from restaurants and grocery stores to people who will put it to use. Ask students to use social media or create posters to educate and raise awareness, encouraging people to be more thoughtful about how they’re treating food.

Originally published September 22, 2017.

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