a 30 day project to teach kids about hunger, with discussion questions and book ideas

Help the Hungry Month

Dedicate a few minutes each day to the issue of hunger.

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.

Possible recipients

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

  • Coins


  • 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.

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