How Communities are Teaching Kids the Value of Food Security
Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Learning the value of food security is essential for initiating the change needed to end world hunger. Find out how some communities are getting involved!
World Food Day is October 16th, an important day to reflect on the value of food security across the globe. It is estimated by the USDA than 11 million children in the United States alone experience food insecurity in their households. That means about one in seven children here in America face the question every day if they will go to bed hungry or if there will be breakfast on the table when they wake up. Teaching our children the value of food security is essential for initiating the change needed to ensure all children are fed, and some communities are stepping up to provide the education and resources necessary.
Community gardens teach kids the process of growing their own food. They learn how to plant seeds, prune their plants for optimal harvests, and effectively care for the different types of fruits and vegetables. Not only are community gardens great for reducing food insecurity, but they also teach children the importance of great dietary intake.
Oxfam Hunger Banquet:
Some communities have hosted Oxfam Hunger Banquets, events that help create awareness of hunger and inequality. These banquets start by asking attendees to draw a ticket that statistically assigns them to a high-, middle-, or low-income group. These groups are then provided a dinner that represents their income level, giving attendees a new perspective of how hunger affects others in our world.
Community Food Banks:
When children volunteer their time at their local food bank, they bring value to their communities and gain a broader perspective of how hunger affects their neighbors. Food banks often have student programs, like this one from the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, that teach them the pillars of food security and what it means if they are threatened. You can locate your local food bank by clicking here. If they don't already have a program like this in place, consider creating or hosting one yourself!
Food Literacy Programs:
Understanding how to choose and cook nutritional items is part of conquering world hunger. Globally, organizations like Heifer International work to educate developing communities so they can collaboratively solve their food security problems. Nationally, Common Threads strives to educate under-resourced communities on how to make affordable and nutritious food choices wherever they are, and organizations like The Food Trust work to improve food access in communities across the states. Virtually, food education events are held through the Food Literacy Center, a non-profit based out of the Sacramento area.
Looking for some at-home education tools? Change for Children has fun and interactive Food Security education resources available for free on their website.