Youth in Action for Global Health

6, 7, 8

Students examine ways to address the issue of food insecurity related to their interests and understanding. They brainstorm service projects and use a decision-making model to choose a project. They implement their service project and reflect on their action.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • interpret data related to undernourishment and well-being.
  • plan a service project to address the issue of food insecurity.
  • reflect on their service-learning process.
  • demonstrate the impact of their action.
  • copy of Handout One: Decision-Making Model on a display board
  • student copies of Handout Two: Undernourishment and Life Expectancy around the Globe
  • scarcity: the lack of a resource, such as money, food, education, or housing
  • advocate: to speak in defense or support of a particular person or issue
  • food insecurity: the risk or fear of not having consistent access to food that meets people's dietary needs and food preferences
  • resources: available supply or support that can be drawn on when needed or wanted
  • undernourished: not having enough food to maintain health and growth

From a single piece of chart paper, cut out a variety of jigsaw puzzle shapes, enough for each young person in the group to have a puzzle piece. Ask them to write on their puzzle piece a response to one of these prompts:

1.     What I learned about food globally and locally.
2.     What I will do differently related to my own food/health.
3.     How I felt about addressing an issue related to local or global food/health.

Have youth use a colored pencil or crayon to lightly color their puzzle piece so as not to cover up what is written on it. Then, working as a group, have each person place his/her piece into the puzzle. Once the puzzle has been completed, paste/glue the pieces onto a larger piece of paper. Ask for a few volunteers to share the responses they wrote on their puzzle pieces.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Give each student a copy of Handout Two: Undernourishment and Life Expectancy around the Globe. Have them look over the chart with a partner. Give them the following guiding questions as they preview the document: Which countries on this chart have the greatest food insecurity? How does food insecurity relate to life expectancy is there a correlation?How are health and well-being related to life expectancy? Ask students to share some significant observations with the whole group.

  2. Ask students to brainstorm issues and concerns related to food insecurity that exist in their community and the world (may include obesity, homelessness, famine, fast food, school lunch choices, and global hunger).

  3. Then, through discussion and consensus, determine what concern or issue they would most like to address - either through an advocacy/information campaign, a fundraiser, or by donating their time.

  4. Use Handout One: Decision-Making Model to facilitate the discussion.

  5. The following ideas may be shared with the young people if needed to spark their decision to take action:

    • Advocate for hungry people in the community and globally.
    • Find a charity to support and find out what their needs are. Feeding America is a good resource that works internationally but has local branches.
    • Teach others about food groups and good food choices.
    • Raise money to support astudent-chosen charitable organization that addresses food insecurity locally or globally.
    • Educate others about habits to combat obesity.
    • Promote locally produced food.
    • Promote legislation to support local farmers.
    • Hold an international food fair with samples of foods from different global regions.
  6. After determining a service project, students make a plan and carry out the project.

  7. Be sure to include reflection before, during, and after the service.

Cross Curriculum 

Youth identify a need related to food insecurity and plan and carry out a service project related to that issue.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    3. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Develop a service plan.