Poverty and Hunger
Students learn how poverty and hunger are related.
- define key terms related to poverty and hunger.
- create a monthly budget for a family of four.
- discuss poverty, wages, and hunger.
"Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home at Four Levels, U.S. Average." United States Department of Agriculture. Web.
- minimum wage
- federal poverty level
- USDA food guide
- recommended daily allowance
- dietary reference intake
- household income
- poverty line
- standard of living
- working poor
In a brief written reflection, address the questions:
- Who is hungry in America?
- What circumstances cause food insecurity?
- What circumstances cause hunger?
"Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home at Four Levels, U.S. Average, July 2014." United States Department of Agriculture, July 2014. Web. https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodPlansCostofFood/reports
Introduce students to vocabulary and key terms: Minimum wage, federal poverty level, USDA food guide, recommended daily allowances (RDA), dietary reference intake, household income, poverty line, standard of living, and working poor.
Give students a copy of the "Official USDA Food Plans" (printout or Internet access) and ask them to review it.
Ask students to create a monthly food budget for a family of four, using the USDA cost estimates on the webpage they reviewed.
After they create their budgets, have them talk about the other costs of raising a family. Discuss why the phrase "heat or eat" is used in homes living in poverty.
Note: the USDA has a calculator to help families calculate the cost of raising a child found on this page http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/
Follow up with the discussion questions:
- How could a working class family have one or more full time workers and still be poor?
- What programs or services could help make life more manageable for your family?
- What roadblocks exist that may hinder eligibility for and access to these programs?
- How does poverty contribute to nutritional deprivation?
- Do you think minimum wage should be adjusted or inflated? Why or why not?
Ask students to write a reflection in their personal journals.
Students answer discussion and reflection questions.