Last December, Caritas Internationalis, the international umbrella organization for Catholic Charities, began a worldwide initiative to combat hunger, called “Food for All.” They recently sponsored a world hunger week. The efforts to curtail food shortages and bring sustenance to everyone in the world is an ongoing issue. Catholic Relief Services provides many resources you could use to involve your students in this task. They are all available here. Consider trying one or more of these suggestions with your students.
1. Play a five minute video “ (Italian with subtitles) in which the Pope reads a statement encouraging people to address hunger.
You may want to encourage students to note down key phrases from the Pope’s address rather than asking them to follow the whole presentation. Students may jot down a Gospel story that teaches about hunger, statistics about hunger, and statements about their own responsibility to deal with the issue. Discuss what Pope Francis has to say.
2. Suggestions for a Prayer Service including relevant scripture readings, liturgical music, and sample prayers of the faithful. These suggestions could be used for a Mass as well as for a non-Eucharistic liturgy. There is also a prayer service for Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction.
3. A one-minute video portraying the allegory of hungry people with long spoons who cannot feed themselves but figure out that they can use those long spoons to feed each other. You may want to pause the video half-way to see if students can come to the conclusion themselves that feeding each other would be a way to ensure that all are fed.
4. A prayer for the anti-hunger campaign as well as a mealtime prayer for people who are hungry. There are also special prayers of intercession for the people of South Sudan. You can also have students write their own prayers, whether they be prayers of intercession or longer ones.
5. A “10 Commandments for a Future without Hunger” which will inspire good discussion as the issues it raises refers to structures of injustice and international concerns. You may want to divide your class into small groups to research some of the issues raised in greater depth prior to discussion.
6. The activity “Eating is a Moral Act” that invites students to engage more personally in the issues surrounding hunger.
7. Stories about successful efforts to help people combat poverty and hunger.
8. Links to Catholic Resources about hunger and to US and International organizations that are also combating hunger.
9. Facts about hunger.
10. Catholic Social Teaching Quotes on Poverty and Hunger.
The CRS Partnership Newsletter also provides relevant information including prayers for different communities in the world who are suffering right now. The September / October 2014 newsletter provides a link to the online CRS Annual Report which has information about different issues CRS addresses, presented so that it would not overwhelm students. It also mentions a CRS multimedia contest that some of your students may want to enter. See this link for sign up information from CRS. The current newslette can be found here.