3rd grade is partnering with City Harvest to conduct a food drive for the 1.7 million New Yorkers, or 20% of the city’s population, who struggle with procuring food. City Harvest is an organization devoted to providing food for those who need it and is able to reach 1.4 million New Yorkers annually. They collect around 150,000 pounds of food each day and the food we are collecting will be distributed among people of all ages and socioeconomic situations at various locations throughout the five boroughs.
To begin, we watched a video about City Harvest, what they do, why they do it and how their work is accomplished. We talked about the language around hunger and the importance of using correct language. We discussed that hunger and being “poor” are situational and not character traits or representative of a person’s identity. We decided more accurate and respectful terminology would be “those who are experiencing hunger” and “those who are less fortunate”. We also talked about the difference between experiencing hunger and starvation, as these are, in actuality, two different locations on a particular spectrum of privilege (in this case, access to food).
The children broke up into pairs and discussed four different questions. Below you will find those questions, as well as some of their responses.
How does hunger affect people?
“You can’t get energy or vitamins.”
“You won’t grow and will get sick.”
“It makes you weak.”
How do you feel when you skip a meal?
“I feel dizzy.”
“Cranky, crying, grumpy, whining, wanting to go lay on a couch.”
“My stomach hurts.”
What are some reasons people experience hunger?
“There are not enough jobs; some people who do have jobs don’t get paid enough.”
“Food is too expensive and people don’t have enough money.”
How can you fight hunger in our community?
“Only buy what you are going to eat and eat everything you buy.”
“Help raise money or collect food to donate,”
“Help at a food pantry.”