Addressing Hunger Issues Through Service Learning

Nancy Kershaw, Joy Jones, Sally Bowman, Holly Berry

Abstract


The U.S. Government has set a goal of reducing the prevalence of food insecurity to 6% or less by 2010. To achieve this goal, education and action are necessary. Youth in Oregon were introduced to the issue through the role playing simulation, Are You Hungry Tonight? The simulation was utilized with youth, adult volunteers, and youth development staff. Participants indicated increased understanding of people with limited resources, including: Financial pressures, emotional stresses and frustrations they face; Difficulty of improving one’s situation; Difficult choices people make; Positive and negative impacts of community organizations. Simulation participants developed an understanding of hunger issues and empathy for people experiencing food insecurity. Participants were subsequently challenged to complete service learning projects that would help provide additional food resources for their communities. Providing education through the simulation set the stage for youth to participate fully in service learning projects to help alleviate hunger.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2007.352

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