Baking Bread for Childhood Hunger
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe one reason why a person might give or volunteer.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.
      3. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
      4. Benchmark E.5 Articulate and demonstrate the safety procedures that are part of the volunteer experience.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify why private resources (volunteers and money) are needed.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Describe a service plan.
    5. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify outcomes from the service.

In this lesson, students define philanthropy and discover how philanthropy can be creative and encompass many different talents and treasures. In this lesson, students will learn about the problem of childhood hunger and the needs in their own community (specifically the financial needs of a meal-provision organization). To address these financial needs, students will bake and sell homemade bread to their community in order to raise money to be donated to their local meal-provision organization.

Focus Question: How can young people make a difference with childhood hunger in our community?

PrintOne 30-Minute Class Period, One 15-Minute Class Period, and time for baking bread

The learner will:

  • define philanthropy as the giving of time, talent, or treasure, and taking action for the common good.
  • research the issue of childhood hunger in their community and learn about a local meal-provision organization.
  • list the financial needs of the organization (what they need to purchase meal ingredients).
  • bake bread to be sold to the community.
  • reflect on the project via a letter written to their parents.
  • whiteboard and markers for defining terms
  • Life of a Sack Supper video (www.kidsfoodbasket.org/) or the procedures of your local meal-provision organization explained in a child-friendly language or format
  • community map of your local organizations' service sites (www.kidsfoodbasket.org/about-us/mapping-hunger) or data regarding the free/reduced lunch population in your community (aquired from your principal or secretary) to evidence the problem of childhood hunger in your area (you can create a map marking the areas of low socioeconomic status with a symbol for your community as a visual representation)
  • printout of a kid-friendly recipe for delicious bread (we like this one)- If time doesn't allow for a yeast-based bread, you could consider making quick bread instead. Find a recipe that works for your time frame and students.
  • ingredients for your bread recipe to make at least 10 loaves (donated by parents or a local grocery store)
  • cooking utensils, as specified by your recipe
  • school kitchen (must be an approved facility licensed for food preparation)
  • table to set up with bread and money collection box
  • funds for transportation for a class trip to your local meal-provision organization for a time of volunteering
  • student copies of Service Planner
  • class copy of Bread Baking Safety Tips
Home Connection: 

The letters students write at school as a reflection should go home to their parents to be read as a thank you for donating the needed ingredients. If parents did not donate the ingredients, it is still important that they learn about the project their child was involved with.


Kids' Food Basket. https://kidsfoodbasket.org/. July 2013.

Alexander, Danielle. The Girl in the Yellow Dress. Kids' Food Basket. 2013. To order this book, contact the staff at Kids' Food Basket via their website.

Newbanks, Randy. "Parts of a Friendly Letter." http://www.pkwy.k12.mo.us/homepage/jotey/File/Parts_of_a_Friendly_Letter.pdf

  1. Day One (50 minutes)

    Anticipatory Set: Bring in a loaf of freshly baked bread (whole grain bread is preferred) to share with your students. Gather your students together at your group meeting place and pass out a small piece of the bread for students to taste. (You can even spread some jam on the bread.) Tell the students to enjoy their special treat. While eating, begin the following discussion.

  2. class=\"MsoNormal\">Ask students if they’ve ever eaten freshly baked bread before. (Many students have, however, some have not.) Ask students if they think everyone around the world has had a taste of freshly baked bread. (No.) Ask why they think this is. Talk about how food costs money, and not everyone has access to enough money to buy the food they need for their families. Talk about how the bread you are eating today is healthy because it was baked with nutritious ingredients. Discuss how usually, the bread that costs the least amount of money is also the least healthy. Discuss the problem of childhood hunger—how many children around the world do not have enough food to eat. Using an Elmo or projector, show students the free/reduced lunch information or map you have gathered about your school or community. (For schools in the Grand Rapids, Michigan community, use the “mapping hunger” section of the Kids’ Food Basket website.) Say, “We might even have students here in our own school who worry about having enough food to eat.”

  3. class=\"MsoNormal\">Introduce the focus question. Ask students what they think they could do to help with this problem of childhood hunger in their community. Tell students that if they were to go out and do some of those things, it would be called service. Another fancy word for service is “philanthropy.” Define philanthropy as "giving of your time, talent, or treasure for the common good.” Ask students to think of ways they could provide service or philanthropy. Discuss the idea that service can be done in many different creative formats. You could play music for the elderly, host a bake sale, or sew blankets for the homeless. Have the students come up with other creative philanthropy suggestions.

  4. class=\"MsoNormal\">Tell students that the government helps many people who don’t have enough money to buy food, but that the government can’t help everyone or provide for every need because there are just too many. Tell students that there are many wonderful organizations in most communities that help people in need. These organizations are often run as nonprofits. Define what a nonprofit organization is in comparison with a for-profit organization or business. Introduce your local meal-provision organization. Give students an overview on how this organization works. (Many organizations have kid-friendly videos or materials that can be used to help explain their work.) If you live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan community, the Kids’ Food Basket organization has fantastic information about how they operate on their website. If your organization uses the “sack meal” method, explain the contents of a Sack Supper, as well as the procedure used to pack and serve these meals. (The Kids’ Food Basket video in the materials section is a helpful view of the “life cycle” of these meals.)

  5. class=\"MsoNormal\">Ask students how they think these organizations get the food needed to make the meals. It may be helpful to draw an example “Sack Supper” on your whiteboard and all of its ingredients. Remind students that these are nonprofit organizations, so they rely on the help of many different groups and people for food donations and money. Discuss the different possibilities of acquiring all the needed ingredients. (For example, a local grocery store might donate all the granola bars needed each month. A local church may donate some of their money, which pays for all of the peanut butter needed.) Talk about the "financial" aspect of these organizations. Tell students that they can be a part of helping with these financial aspects. Students can donate food items or money to the organization and make a big difference. Pose this question to students: “Do you think it would be more helpful to donate 10 loaves of bread or $100?” Talk about how organizations like these can often get more for the money because they get price breaks to help people in need.

  6. class=\"MsoNormal\">Ask students why they think we tasted bread at the beginning of this lesson. Tell them that we will be doing a fundraiser that involves baking fresh bread. Ask students if they enjoy cooking or baking, or if they've ever baked with someone before. Most students have. Tell the students that they will be baking fresh bread to sell to the community. The money collected from the bread sales will be donated to the local nonprofit meal-provision organization. Tell students that this is a fundraiser and define this term if necessary. Ask students where they think they could get the ingredients for baking the bread. If your students come from financially-able families, they can sign up to bring in the needed ingredients. If this isn’t possible for your classroom, discuss the idea of asking a local grocery store to donate the ingredients. If you will be asking for donations, the students should write a letter explaining their project and their needs. (This can be written as a whole class, or in groups of students doing collaborative writing.) Once ready, the teacher should deliver it to the store along with a teacher-written cover letter. Follow up communication and pick-up arrangements will be necessary.

  7. class=\"MsoNormal\">Share the recipe with the class, so they understand what steps and ingredients will be involved.Take this opportunity for your students to practice their nonfiction reading comprehension skills (i.e. reading headings, captions, analyzing photographs and other graphics, reading the text itself). At this time, also go over the “Baking Bread Safety Tips” handout in the materials section.

  8. class=\"MsoNormal\">Have students complete the attached handout called "Service Planner." On this handout, the students will identify the three steps of the project. The first being baking the bread, the second being selling the bread, the third being bringing the funds to your local organization. (This will help students internalize the steps of the project, as well as practice summarization skills.)

  9. Day Two (2.5 hours, or whatever cooking time is necessary for your bread recipe)

  10. class=\"MsoNormal\">The students will work in small groups to bake bread with a parent volunteer. Use the schedule you have created with your parent volunteers to be sure that each child gets a turn to bake some bread. If your classroom population doesn’t allow for many parent volunteers, this project can also be done whole-class with the teacher supervising. Take your students to the approved kitchen and put them into groups, responsible for different portions of the recipe.

  11. class=\"MsoNormal\">The students should set up a table in a good location for visitors (perhaps in the school lobby or office) where people can come and purchase the bread. Ask students for ideas on where and how they can sell the bread. This is an excellent place to incorperate youth voice into your project. A volunteer can stand at the table, or you can use the honor system. Have students create a sign with pricing and information about the organization that will benefit to be placed on the table along with a cash box. Prior to making these signs, have a discussion about it. Tell the students that even just making the signs is an act of service because you are advocating for the organization. Ask students if they have ever seen a commercial or billboard advocate for an organization before. Talk about ways to grab people’s attention with the signs and posters. You can split your students into groups to make a few different signs, posters, and advertisements for their sale to post around the school and community.

  12. class=\"MsoNormal\">Once every child has had a turn to bake, collect and count the money raised. (We recommend counting the money as a class. Separate the different bills/coins and count each individually. Then, add up for a grand total. The students can do as much as the math as they are able.)


The teacher will assess the students' learning by reading their reflection letters. The teacher should look for an understanding of the service project and how it benefitted the nonprofit organization. The student should be able to answer the question, "Why did we do this project?"