Local Hunger and Malnutrition

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners analyze the role of the four sectors of society in solving problems of hunger in the community.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • describe the difference between hunger and malnutrition.
  • identify how the four sectors of society work together to diminish hunger in the local community.
  • Journal notebooks
  • Selections from Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt that relate to hunger

McCourt, Frank. Angela’s Ashes. New York: Scribner, 1999. ISBN: 068484267X


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Using online dictionaries, ask the learners to define hunger. Come to a common definition. 

  2. Explain that we all feel hungry at times. Hunger is the way the body signals that it needs to eat. Ask the learners to explain the difference between hunger and malnutritionMalnutrition means a person’s body lacks the nutrients necessary to grow and stay healthy. The condition may result from an inadequate or an unbalanced diet. People who go hungry all the time and are malnourished don’t develop normally. People suffer from hunger because they don’t get enough food, and hunger can lead to malnutrition over the long term. Starvation is a form of malnutrition.

  3. Working in small groups, have learners research different nonprofit organizations in the community that address hunger and healthy food for all. After 10 minutes, discuss the community need and current solutions. 

  4. In addition to nonprofit organizations, there are three other sectors of society that may take action to promote healthy nutrition and healthy communities: government agencies, for profit business, and families. Discuss why is there a need for all of these groups in society. In what different ways do they work for the good of the community to boost health and nutrition for all?

  5. Through discussion, determine together what organization or organizations they would like to learn more about. Guide the young people to take the lead in inviting a guest to speak to the group and find out about their need and what young people can do.

  6. Optional: take a field trip to a food pantry and help to organize a volunteer or donation campaign.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Explain why needs are met in different ways by government, business, civil society and family.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Provide a needed service.