This project, which makes kids mindful of hunger, requires only a few minutes each day. It lasts a month and can begin any day you choose.
Local food shelves or charities that work to alleviate or end hunger.
What you’ll need
- A bowl or extra place setting (including bowl) at the table
- Place an empty bowl or an entire place setting at your table to remind you of those who go without nutritious food each day.
- Every day, count something in your home, such as number of stuffed animals, number of coats in your closet, or number of socks in your drawers.
- Put a coin in the bowl for each item counted.
- At the end of 30 days, donate the coins you collected to a hunger relief organization or your local food shelf.
- For more details on this project, including a “calendar” of items to count each day, see the book Doing Good Together: 101 Easy, Meaningful Service Projects for Families, Schools and Communities by Jenny Friedman and Jolene Roehlkepartain (Free Spirit Publishing, 2010).
- Why is it hard to picture what it’s like to be hungry when you always have plenty to eat?
- Why do you think some people don’t have enough nutritious food?
- Why is it important to help people who don’t have enough nutritious food?
- When we donate our money, how do you think the organization uses it to help people who are hungry?
- What else can we do to help people who are hungry?
- “The Small Ball of Rice” in Buddha at Bedtime by Dharmachari Nagaraja (Duncan Baird, 2008). Ages 4 and up. This fable tells about the generosity of a man who has little and how it transformed a wealthy miser.
- If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People by David J. Smith (Kids Can Press, 2nd edition, 2011). Ages 8 and up. This book helps explain who we are and the uneven distribution of resources by imagining the world as a village of 100 people.
Take it further
- Keep hunger a concern year-round by “adopting” your local food pantry.
- After your 30 days of collecting coins, go as a family to deliver your donation to the hunger organization you’re supporting. Describe your effort and see if they’d like to promote it to other families as a fundraising idea.
*Cost can vary greatly on some projects depending on the way you approach them. Consider asking friends and neighbors to “sponsor” your effort if you get excited about a project that may be out of your price range. You might end up with a big-hearted community at your side!