Poverty Lesson Plan: Hunger

Time: 50-70 minutes, depending on activity chosen
Ages: 4-11, depending on activity chosen

Lesson overview and preparation

Prepare for the lesson and gather supplies.

The problem: Many children living in poverty don’t get all the nutritious food they need. This makes them hungry and less healthy.
My sponsored child: Hunger might affect our sponsored child’s family.
What God says: God tells us to give to people in need.

The Problem My Sponsored Child Activity (ages 4-7) Activity (ages 8-11) What God Says
Poverty focus: Many children living in poverty don’t get all the healthy food they need. Sponsored child connection: Hunger might affect your family’s sponsored child. Fire Pit Snack recipe

Recipe time: 10 minutes
Spinach Mushroom Quesadillas recipe

Recipe time: 30 minutes
Bible focus: We should help feed the hungry and thank God for the food we have.

Memory verse: Proverbs 22:9
Supplies: none Supplies: crayons, blank paper Supplies: See the Fire Pit Snack recipe. Supplies: See the Spinach Mushroom Quesadillas recipe. Supplies: Bible
Prep (optional): Read “Responding to Hunger” (3-minute read) for extra context. Prep: none Prep: Open the Fire Pit Snack page in your internet browser or print out the printable. Gather the ingredients. Prep: Open the Spinach Mushroom Quesadillas page in your internet browser or print out the printable. Gather the ingredients and chop the vegetables. Prep: none

The Problem

Discussion and exercise, 10 minutes

You say: Today we’ll learn why many kids around the world don’t have the nutritious food they need to stay healthy. We’ll also do a fun activity about food.

What was the last food you ate? [Wait for answers.] How many meals do you normally eat each day? [Wait for answers.] What about snacks? [Wait for answers.]

Did you know that a lot of kids around the world get only one meal per day? Others might go at least a day without eating anything. We are blessed to have more than enough food. But many poor people can’t afford or find the food their families need.

Food includes nutrients that we need to live. When children don’t get enough nutrients, they become undernourished. This can mean that their bodies and minds don’t grow strong. Some kids get sick and die because they don’t get enough nutrients.

Application: Let’s go look in our food pantry and see how much food we have. [Accompany child to cupboard where you keep your canned or dried goods.] Can you count all the cans? [Wait for them to count the cans or another food item you have several of. Then ask them to count another food item you have stocked.]

Afterward, you say: The poorest families in the world don’t have a single food item at home. Many parents spend their earnings from a full day of work on just a little bit of rice or beans for their kids. Sometimes there isn’t enough money to buy any food, so kids have to go to bed with hunger cramps.

So for kids like our sponsored child, [say sponsored child’s name], getting food isn’t as easy as opening a cupboard or refrigerator. Let’s find out why.

My Sponsored Child

Discussion and application, 15 minutes

You need: Blank paper no larger than 8.5” x 11″, crayons, pencil

Application for ages 4-7: Let’s draw a picture to send to [sponsored child’s name]. Since we’re talking about food and hunger, color a picture of your favorite food.

Application for ages 8-11: Let’s write a quick note to [sponsored child’s name]. Since we’re talking about the importance of food, why don’t you ask [sponsored child’s name] what [his/her] favorite food is? You can also write about your favorite food.

Note: Please include your sponsor number and your sponsored child’s name and number on each item you send. Mail to: Compassion International, 12290 Voyager Parkway, Colorado Springs CO 80921.

 

You say: Now we’ll learn a little more about food and hunger in [sponsored child’s name’s] region.

If your sponsored child lives in Africa, you say: Many African children don’t get enough nutritious food, so they don’t grow as well as other children. African children are at the highest risk for stunted — or slowed — growth. Stunted kids get sick more often and don’t learn as well in school. That means they lose out on education, which they need if they want to get out of poverty when they grow up by working at good jobs.

If your sponsored child lives in Asia, you say: There are more undernourished people in Asia than anywhere in the world. “Undernourished” means that someone is unhealthy because they don’t get enough nutritious food. Droughts — periods without enough rain — and flooding often kill food crops in Asia. That means there isn’t enough food for all the people in some Asian regions.

If your sponsored child lives in Central America or the Caribbean: In Central America and the Caribbean, some people can’t afford to buy enough food for their families. Many people’s jobs don’t pay much, and other people can’t find jobs. Sometimes people plant farms and gardens to grow food, but the common hurricanes and other big storms in the Caribbean kill the crops.

If your sponsored child lives in South America: Hunger isn’t as big a problem in South America as it is in many places. But the poorest children in our sponsored child’s region still don’t get as much food as they need. Children who are hungry have a tougher time in school because it’s harder for them to pay attention and learn.

 

Afterward, you say: God uses our family to fight hunger around the world by sponsoring [sponsored child’s name]. Kids in Compassion’s program get snacks and nutritious meals at their churches. They also get health checkups to make sure they’re growing and learning as well as kids who aren’t poor.

To learn more about hunger around the world, let’s do an activity.

Activity

Recipes, 10-30 minutes

Ages 4-7: Fire Pit Snack
(10 minutes)
Before you begin: Pull up the Fire Pit Snack recipe page. Gather the ingredients.
You say: Remember the last time you felt really hungry. Now imagine what it would feel like to be hungry all the time. Many families in poor countries can’t afford or find enough food. Some kids get only one meal a day. Others might go for a day or more without food. Let’s make a snack that looks like a fire pit. Many families around the world cook over open fires because they don’t own ovens or have electricity. Sometimes fuel to light the fire costs more than the poorest families can afford. [Read the intro paragraph on the webpage or print-out, and then follow the instructions to help your child assemble the snack.]
Pray before you eat: Dear God, thank you for this food. Please help me feel thankful every time I eat and to remember kids who are hungry in my prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ages 8-11: Spinach Mushroom Quesadillas
(30 minutes)
Before you begin: Pull up the Spinach Mushroom Quesadillas recipe page. Gather the ingredients and chop the vegetables.
You say: Remember the last time you felt really hungry. Now imagine what it would feel like to be hungry all the time. Many families in poor countries can’t afford or find enough food. Some kids get only one meal a day. Others might go for a day or more without food. Let’s make a recipe and pray to tell God we are thankful for having enough food to eat. [Read the intro paragraph on the webpage or print-out, and then help your child make the recipe.]
Pray before you eat: Dear God, thank you for this food. Please help me feel thankful every time I eat and to remember kids who are hungry in my prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

What God Says

Memory verse and prayer, 5-7 minutes

You say: Now that you know that many children living in poverty don’t get all the nutritious food they need, we’ll find out what the Bible says about it. God tells us to help people who don’t get enough food. He uses caring people like our family to feed poor children like [sponsored child’s name]. Let’s learn a Bible verse about giving to the hungry. Then we’ll pray for hungry people and ask God how we can help.

Repeat this Bible verse after me …

Shortened memory verse for ages 4-7: “The generous share their food with the poor,” Proverbs 22:9. [Wait for child to repeat, then say it again and have child repeat it again.]

You say: What does it mean to be generous? [Wait for answers.] Being generous means sharing, giving and caring. In this Bible verse, what do generous people share? [Wait for child to answer “their food.”] Whom do they share their food with? [Wait for “the poor.”] Now repeat the verse after me: “The generous share their food with the poor,” Proverbs 22:9. [Wait for repeated verse.]

Memory verse for ages 8-11: “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” [Wait for child to repeat, then say it again and ask child to repeat it again.]

You say: What does it mean to be generous? [Wait for answers.] Being generous means sharing, giving and caring. In this Bible verse, what do generous people share? [Wait for child to answer “their food.”] Whom do they share their food with? [Wait for “the poor.”] Now repeat the verse after me: “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” [Wait for repeated verse.]

Afterward, you say: Let’s pray for [sponsored child’s name] and other children living in poverty. [If your children are used to leading prayers out loud, they might want to say their own prayer. Otherwise read the following prayer out loud.]

Dear God, I’m so glad that our family gets to sponsor [sponsored child’s name] so [he/she] can eat healthy meals. Thanks for blessing our family with all the food we need. I pray for poor kids who are hungry and sick. Please help them get the food they need to grow healthy. Give me ideas for how to help hungry people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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