“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.“Mother Teresa
It has always been my goal to help my kids grow up and be more aware of the world they live in to give them the opportunity to see that some people are not as privileged as they are and open their eyes to the harsh realities of the world – poverty and hunger included.
Hunger affects 1 in 9 children around the world making this issue a major public health concern.
These numbers are especially troubling considering that food is detrimental to a child’s overall development including academic performance.
Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Pediatrics, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry show that hunger greatly impacts a child’s performance and behavior in school.
Here are 5 facts about world hunger taken from DoSomething.org.
- 11.3% of the world’s population, or around 805 million people, is hungry.
- Poverty is the main cause of hunger.
- In 2010, approximately 7.6 million children died. In half of this number, poor nutrition played a role.
- Almost 98% of world hunger exists in underdeveloped countries.
- 526 million hungry people live in Asia
Telling your children about these facts can easily paint a picture in their mind about.
With it, they will also learn to be more thankful with what they have.
Related: How to Teach Kids to be Grateful
How Can Kids Help End World Hunger?
Children can make a positive difference in the lives of other kids in need and it’s important to talk to children about hunger to inspire them to take action to fight hunger.
When they understand how serious and widespread this problem is, it can spark empathy in themselves and help them become better persons.
Here are some easy solutions and simple steps to end world hunger that you can do with your children so they can contribute in their own little ways.
The first step to dealing with a problem is to talk about it. Stimulate your kids to think about world hunger as a very real problem.
And let them know the serious consequences it brings to the human population as a whole.
You can key them in on the facts above in ways that they can easily understand.
When your children have a grasp on the subject, they can begin to teach their friends about the problem, too.
The more people are aware of the fact that hunger exists, the more people are prepared to do something to help.
And when that happens, your children can be the first ones to offer solutions.
Don’t Waste Food
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food get lost or wasted every year.
That is one third of all the food produced worldwide for human consumption.
And this amount of food can feed hundreds of people, already.
Let your children understand this so they don’t add to the shocking amount of food that end up in garbage cans.
When you cooked more than you need, your children can pack up some to share with others.
Or you can come up with new recipes for your leftovers.
There are hungry people everywhere, even in our own cities and towns.
Let your children become aware of this and let them know they can do something to help people with hunger issues.
Local organizations in the community are available that will be happy to take in volunteers for feeding programs and the like.
Simply donating extras from your kitchen and pantry is a great step towards relieving people of their hunger.
Read and Reflect on Hunger
Reading stories is such a great way for children to understand the complicated realities of world issues like hunger.
Tell your kids about someone who struggles with hunger and discuss simple ways that you can help.
Plant a Family Garden
Use a small space in your family garden to plant seeds and donate excess produce to your local food pantry.
This activity will help engage your child fight hunger and promote sustainability.
Gather your children and their friends up and talk about the hunger situation in your community.
Then, they can think of ways on how they can do something so that no one goes hungry in your place.
This can include simple endeavors like asking teachers or the school to ensure that students who need meals will have them or turning an empty lot into a community garden to grow crops and vegetables.
These solutions are not only doable, but they can also help grow a sense of independence and responsibility in every young person who participates in the activity.
Support a Cause
When you search for hunger-related issues, you will definitely find a number of causes and leaders who advocate them like Feeding America.
Before pledging you and your children’s support, research the cause and tell your children about it.
They can then choose for themselves which cause they want to support and contact the group to offer their help.
Start a Donation Jar
A fund-raising activity can be both fun and educational for a child. And when the fund-raising activity involves food, it can make the subject of world hunger more resounding.
It is also a more appropriate undertaking for an older child.
Your kids can also hold a talent show to raise money.
Not only will they be able to showcase their talents, but they can also donate the proceeds of their ticket sales to a charity who specializes in helping hungry people.
But no matter what type of fundraising your kids join, doing so to help deal with hunger is highly instructive to a kid and will mold his beliefs in the years to come.
Hold an Auction
Children can set up a creative community auction that can also raise funds for hungry people.
Let your children ask family and friends to donate their specialties. Even skills can be donated.
Your kids can also auction their time that people in the community can buy and use for babysitting and other appropriate purposes.
But this event can be challenging and will take a lot of preparation and organizing.
However, when successfully done, it can generate a lot of money and will make the community become aware of your cause.
It will, in turn, get everyone in the community involved.
So, work with your children and help them make the event successful.
Inspiring kids to end hunger one small solution at a time can make a big difference in the world.
It may not be the ultimate solution to the problem but these small acts can bring us one step closer to start a journey towards a world where no person goes hungry.