Making a Difference in the World

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners distinguish between the many different approaches to addressing hunger by looking at governmental versus nonprofit programs. They will describe the importance of philanthropic actions in solving the problems of hunger in the world.

PrintOne 50-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • compare and contrast government and nonprofit programs of hunger relief.
  • Feeding America  a food rescue organization.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 
  • U.S. AID 
  • World Food Programme of the United Nations 


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Put the following statement on the chalkboard: "It is estimated that one billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition." In a quick brainstorm session lasting no more than three minutes, ask the learners to name solutions for the problem. Record the responses on the board as well.

  2. Working as a whole group and looking at the list provided in the brainstorming session, put a "G" in front of those solutions that can be done by a government, either a national or an international governmental organization (e.g., United Nations, European Union, World Court, Organization of American States). Put a "B" in front of the solutions that could be conducted by for-profit businesses (including multinational corporations). Put "NGO" in front of those which are nongovernmental organizations  (e.g., Amnesty International, Red Cross and World Council of Churches). Discuss why there are so many different organizations that address the problem of hunger. How effective is it to have many different approaches to handling the world hunger problem?

  3. Working in small research groups, young people look at American domestic policy regarding hunger in this country and ways hunger is addressed in the nation. There are government programs, such as Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). There are also private organizations, such as food pantries, food banks, food rescue organizations (Second Harvest) and emergency (soup) kitchens. Let each research group investigate a specific governmental or nongovernmental program that deals with hunger in the country.

    As each team selects their program, have them "register" the name with the facilitator so that no two groups are researching the same program.

  4. Let each team report on their program. When the reporting is finished, ask the whole group to discuss whether the programs, when taken in their entirety, are effective in reaching most Americans. Why does hunger still exist even though the problem is being handled by both government and nongovernmental groups?

  5. Journal prompt:

    When I think of my own personal approach toward food, I resolve to...

    • When I think of nutrition, I now understand that...
    • When I think of the problem of feeding the hungry in my community, I recognize the work of...
    • When I think of hunger on a global scale, I support the efforts of...

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and discuss examples of philanthropy and charity in modern culture.
    2. 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. Benchmark HS.2 Provide examples from history of how the relationship between government and the civil society sector has changed.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and describe how civil society sector organizations help people nationally and internationally.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.7 Examine the role of a country as a member of various international communities.