Global Hunger and Malnutrition (11th Grade)

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners recognize hunger as a global community issue and the role of the four sectors of society in solving problems of hunger in the community. They will be challenged to apply their own time, talent and treasure to address the issue of local hunger.




PrintOne Fifty-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • describe the difference between hunger and malnutrition.
  • compare experiences of hunger evidenced in world news.
  • identify how the four sectors of society work together to diminish hunger in the local community.
Teacher Preparation 

It is important to be sensitive to the possibility that someone in your class may have some personal experience with homelessness, hunger and poverty.


Research how much food American's throw away each year. What could we do to raise awareness of that waste? How could people do to avoid waste and keep in mind the need for food for hungry people?


TeensHealth This gives information about hunger and malnutrition. 


  1. Anticipatory Set: Ask the learners to list all the places in their community that provide food for those in need. Compile the list on the chalkboard.

  2. Using dictionaries, ask the learners to define hunger.Place the definition on the board.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 malnutrition. Malnutrition 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. Divide the class into five or six groups. Give each of the groups a different article about hunger printed from the suggested web sites or web sites of the teacher’s choice.

  4. Ask the groups to read the articles and summarize the information about hunger and its effects on a piece of chart paper. Information they might look for: location, cause(s) of hunger/poverty, number of people effected, aid available and source of aid (organization). When the information is charted, post the charts in the room and allow the class to do a “walk about” to get a general impression of global hunger.

  5. Use the statistics to generate a discussion about hunger and poverty in the world and in your area. Questions could include the following:

    • What are some of the causes of hunger?
    • Why does hunger exist when the world produces enough food to feed the population?
    • What is the connection between hunger and poverty?
  6. Review the list of places in the local community that supply food for those in need. Determine if these organizations are for-profit, nonprofit or government.

  7. Ask the students to brainstorm about how they can use their time, talent and treasure to address the issue in the world and in their “own backyard” by working with these organizations.

Cross Curriculum 

Students identify a need related to hunger in their community and take voluntary action to address the need.

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.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. Benchmark HS.3 Identify and describe civil society sector organizations whose purpose is associated with issues relating to "human characteristics of place" nationally and internationally.
  3. 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.