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Create or Support a Local Food Bank

Students will identify the types of food most needed in their area. Then they will work with a local representative to create or support a food bank that will collect and distribute food to the local population.

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, discuss what a food bank is and how it provides food to hungry people.
  2. Invite a representative from a local food bank to visit the class so students can gain a better understanding of what food banks do. If there is no organization like this in your area, challenge students to identify a group that could help them start a food bank. Invite someone from that group to visit the class to explore how this could be done.
  3. Encourage students to identify the types of food most needed in your area. Challenge them to identify local sources where some of these foods could be collected and distributed to people in need. Possibilities include local restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals and even leftover food from the school cafeteria.
  4. Then, working in conjunction with the food bank representative, encourage students to brainstorm ideas for how to support the local food bank or create one of their own. Guide them as they work through details of how, when and where to collect food and how to best get it to the people who need it. Once the details are ironed out, put the plan into action.

ASSESSMENT:

After completing this activity, hold a class discussion to recap what happened. Encourage students to share ideas for improving the process.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Organize the details yourself. Require each student to participate. Encourage each student to identify one thing he or she could do to help hungry people in your community.
Grades 5-6:
Invite students to help you identify the greatest food needs in your area and put the plan into action. Require each student to participate. Encourage each student to identify three things he or she could do to help hungry people in your area.
Grades 7-8:
Once you have identified a local organization to work with, divide the class into small groups. Assign each group a specific part of the project. Supervise as groups plan the step-by-step process for completing their tasks. You may wish to work with other classes to expand this into an all-school project. After students complete their work, encourage them to write an evaluation summarizing what they did and identifying additional ways they can help hungry people in your community.
Grades 9-10:
Once you have identified a local organization to work with, encourage students to select a team of supervisors. Each supervisor will oversee a specific part of the project. All other students will work in small groups to complete specific tasks. Encourage teams to outline the step-by-step process for completing their tasks so the overall project flows as seamlessly as possible. You may wish to invite other classes or expand this into an all-school project. Encourage students to enlist the help of parents, siblings and other community members as well. When the project is complete, encourage students to identify the biggest challenges and propose ideas for overcoming these challenges in the future.