A lesson on hunger – questions, resources and discussion points.



The aim of this lesson is to raise awareness of the global epidemic that is world hunger.


By the end of the lesson pupils should be able   to reflect on these questions.

How does hunger affect me personally?

How does hunger affect people in my community?

What impact does hunger have globally?

What can I do personally to help those affected by hunger?



Watch the following clip on you tube

  • Malnutrition – a problem too great to be ignored.


and discuss the following questions after watching it:


How can world hunger be prevented?

What does acutely malnourished mean?

What is malnutrition caused by?


More discussion points and information on World Hunger.

  • For many of us our last meal was our breakfast. If you have not had breakfast it is likely that you are feeling tired, grumpy and are finding it difficult to concentrate. You may be thinking about food and wishing it was break time so that you could eat. Hunger is uncomfortable. Even though we think of hunger as a primarily physical experience in that our bellies can rumble and we can get stomach ache; it is also important to remember that hunger can make learning and concentration difficult at every age. Hunger takes a toll on our mood, our focus, and our sense of physical well-being.Hunger causes a decrease in heart rate and oxygen levels, making it that much more difficult to perform any kind of physical activity and that is why top athletes know the importance of adequate nutrition to be successful.
  • Eating is a natural, healthy, and pleasurable activity for satisfying hunger. However, in our food-abundant, diet-obsessed culture, eating is often mindless, consuming, and guilt-inducing instead.People often eat ‘mindlessly’ when they are watching TV or at the cinema, travelling etc. This can be psycho-somatic or out of boredom or simply part of a routine.We should all make time to eat mindfully and to enjoy food.


  • What does mindful eating mean?

Mindful eating is eating with intention and attention:

Eating with the intention of caring for yourself

Eating with the attention necessary for noticing and enjoying your food and its effects on your body

Do an activity to teach about mindful eating. The chocolate meditation activity is very good.

As pupils I would encourage you to eat mindfully and fuel your brain to achieve and to succeed.

  • For many of us we can alleviate hungry because we have adequate resources – we have food in our cupboards at home, we have access to the school canteen, we have money in our pockets so that we can stop in the shop on the way to school to buy something to eat. We can alleviate our hunger and care for ourselves. Yet, it is important to acknowledge that there are people in our communities for whom hunger is a very real problem. Hunger is not just a third world problem, 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK.With poverty in working families at record levels, charity foodbanks across the UK report that families struggling to feed their children are an everyday reality. This year 20,000 children are likely to receive emergency food from the growing number of foodbanks run by The Trussell Trust charity. With 3.7 million children in poverty in the UK, foodbanks are only beginning to scratch the surface of a large, nationwide problem. Every day UK foodbanks meet desperate parents who are skipping meals to feed their children and find themselves forced to consider stealing to stop their children going to bed hungry.
  • Another useful you tube clip. Hunger is not just a stomach thing.




  • What can we do to help people who are hungry in our community?


  • We can donate to Food banks. Food banks rely on donations of non-perishable foods by the public. Frontline care professionals such as doctors and social workers give foodbank vouchers to people in crisis. Food bank vouchers are exchanged for 3 days’ worth of food. A gift of food does more than just fill empty stomachs. Foodbanks help to prevent family breakdown, housing loss, crime and mental health problems.


  • Global hunger now afflicts nearly a billion people worldwide. Severe acute malnutrition, however, is the more immediate killer: it threatens the lives of 34 million children. The difference between hunger and malnutrition means that the body does not have the vitamins and minerals necessary to grow or fight off disease. In developing countries where sanitation is poor lack of nutrition makes children and adults more vulnerable to illness and consequently death from hunger.



The facts are as follows

  • Hunger is the single biggest solvable problem facing the world today
  • Approximately 870  million people in the world do not eat enough to be healthy. That means that one in every eight  people on Earth goes to bed hungry each night
  • The world produces enough food to feed all 7 billion people who live in it, but those who go hungry either do not have land to grow food or money to purchase it.
  • Poverty is the main cause of hunger, and hunger is a cause of poverty.
  • Almost 1 in every 15 children in developing countries dies from hunger.


Facts have been taken from Action Against Hunger Website




Plenary – Ask pupils to reflect on questions set at beginning of the lesson. Discuss and conclude.

You could give this question to older students as a homework activity.

In order to reduce the health problems associated with obesity in the western world it has been suggested that the price of sugary foods is increased. This has become known as ‘the sugar tax’. Yet on the other hand global hunger now afflicts nearly a billion people worldwide and 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK. Discuss.



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Feel free to comment or email me at foodandhealthteacher@hotmail.com if you would like to discuss this blog further.

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