Helping People Who Are Hungry

K, 1, 2

Students read a story about the making of Stone Soup. Through the story, they learn about the concept of working together for the common good. They brainstorm and choose an idea for a service project related to hunger and health. They work together for the common good on their selected project.

PrintOne 30-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • listen and respond to the story of Stone Soup.
  • visualize people working together for the greater good, or common good.
  • design and carry out a service project that helps people who are hungry.
  • create a Service Experience Timeline.
  • read-aloud copy of the handout The Story of Stone Soup
  • projected image of handout Decision-Making Model
  • long roll of paper to create a Service Experience Timeline
  • drawing paper and crayons/markers for each student
Teacher Preparation 

Food-related health issues involve nutrition, undernourishment, food security, fitness and exercise, and nutrition-related diseases. Some of these issues are based on personal choices, but many are determined by opportunities and availability of resources. The health of people across the world affects and determines political and economic decision-making.

Although the majority of hungry people live in developing countries, hunger is also an issue in developed countries. (Food and Agriculture Organization

  • food insecurity: the risk or fear of not having consistent access to food that meets people's dietary needs and food preferences; not being sure one will have enough food or the right food to feel full, grow, and be healthy
  • starving: not having enough food to grow or be healthy
  • hunger: an uneasy or unpleasant feeling caused by an empty stomach
  • food distribution: a method of distributing or transporting food or drink from one place to another – an important part of public nutrition
  • malnutrition: a state of poor nutrition caused by either insufficient food supply or by excessive or unbalanced diet

Facilitate reflection after the service project. Have children draw a picture of themselves showing how they participated in the service project. Ask them to draw either a happy, sad, or straight face with their illustrations. Ask for volunteers to share their illustration and why they chose to put the “face” they did indicating how they felt. Post the illustrations in the meeting room.


Feeding America--Scroll over the different states to see their hunger statistics and compare: basic skills while earning rice for hungry people worldwide:
Heifer International--A nonprofit that provides livestock and training to families in need.
World Health Organization Hunger Factsheet--Uplifting and concerning facts about the current state of international hunger.



  1. Anticipatory Set

    Go around the circle and ask each student to share one idea for helping people who are hungry (food insecure). Use the following sentence: “I can _________________ to help hungry people.”

  2. Remind children of what they learned about food insecurity.

  3. Tell the children you are going to read aloud a short story about people who experienced food insecurity but learned to work together to help the whole community. Read aloud the story in the handout The Story of Stone Soup. Discuss the questions at the end of the handout. Discuss the idea that "working together creates a greater good."

  4. Ask the children if they believe they have talents and treasures to contribute that can make a difference for hungry people in the world. Generate excitement about helping and contributing to a greater good.

  5. Brainstorm a list of activities they can do to take action for the common good related to health, nutrition, and global hunger.

  6. Children may work in a soup kitchen or hold a food drive to collect foods for a local charity or hold a fundraiser to collect money to donate to a world food organization. They may do something indirectly related to food and health, such as playing with younger children at a soup kitchen or donating gently used books, toys, stuffed animals, or clothes. Or they may develop a creative performance that raises awareness or teaches others about the issue.

  7. After brainstorming a list, use a decision-making model (Handout) to choose the service activity that best suits the interests, resources, talents and opportunities of the group. For example, plan an art activity to do with children at the soup kitchen. Advertise the activity at the soup kitchen and food pantry. Gather supplies and facilitate the activity with children teaching children.

  8. Teacher Note: Due to the ages of the children present, these activities will need adult assistance. Discuss ways that the children can get their parents and facilitators involved in charities and fundraisers, and how they can work with other adults to provide for their communities. Plant the seed for future service by developing these ideas early on.

  9. Help the children plan and carry out a service project.

  10. After the service project is completed, as a class the student will create a timeline. Work with the children to sequence what they did before the act of service (investigation and preparation), what they did during the service (action), and what they did after the project (reflection). As a group, compose a sentence or two about each stage of the project to put on the timeline. Ask the students to draw a picture of themselves at one of the stages of the project and to glue their picture to the appropriate part of the timeline. Teacher Note: If the service experience was chronicled using photographs, those photos can also be added to the timeline.

  11. Display the timeline in the classroom, school hallway or media center. Invite members of the school staff, families and/or other students to view the timeline and have the students act as "guides" through the timeline of their service experience.

Cross Curriculum 

Children select a service project related to global health and hunger. They may work in a soup kitchen, hold a food drive to collect foods for a local charity, sponsor a fundraiser to collect money to donate to a world food organization, or plan and carry out a creative performance that teaches others and raises awareness about the issue.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. 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. Benchmark E.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, 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.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.