Global Hunger Awareness. Sharing Meals. Sharing Stories.

Global Hunger

“I’m starving.” We say it all the time when our meals are a little late, or we are dieting. Most of us know that our next meal is right around the corner, and our biggest challenge is which restaurant to choose. But, for millions around the globe, the threat of starving to death is a literal, constant companion. How can we raise our church’s awareness of world hunger? Let them eat cake—or, better yet, bread pudding—with the homeless.

Red beans and rice, cornbread, sweet tea, and bread pudding for dessert. It’s a simple menu. More importantly, for the hungry it’s filling and a little bit sweet.

In guiding your church to share a meal with people who struggle with hunger, you give them the opportunity to share more than food—they can also share stories. The best way for a well-fed person to learn about hunger is to hear another’s story firsthand.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Cover the basics.
Choose a date. During October, many churches observe Global Hunger Awareness events. Choose a place in which to hold the event. If you choose a public location, check with local officials for any necessary permits.

Plan for a crowd.
Ask church members to supply ingredients. Enlist volunteer cooks, servers, and a cleanup crew.

Make simple invitations.
Contact homeless organizations in your community for help with inviting people. Three days before the event, hand out the invites in homeless shelters and on the streets. If you live in or near a low-income area, check with your schools’ principals for permission to send invitations home with the children.

Advertise to your groups.
Create a video of individuals of various ages holding cardboard signs with hunger statistics written on them to show in church. Check GlobalHungerRelief.org for resources and statistics. Film the video in a downtown park or busy city street for more interest. End the video with event details. Involve every age group to encourage everyone to participate.

Educate.
One meal doesn’t solve hunger, but helping Christians become aware of the problem will. After the event, provide opportunities for your church to volunteer at food pantries. Pray about committing to serve one meal each month in a local park or shelter.

Leave with a challenge.
The number of people starving globally feels overwhelming. Challenge others to make a difference in 1 life or 1 family by delivering groceries on a regular basis. Focusing on 1 is less daunting and more personal.

Sharing a story over a meal can change the life of a hungry person and the lives of his companions. Remember that the menu isn’t as important as the stories shared. So what’s for supper?

By Deb Douglas
Deb Douglas, former women’s minister at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, Louisiana, believed in solving world hunger 1 meal at a time.

For more ideas about understanding and responding to hunger, check out these resources

Understanding Global Hunger: Churchwide Event
Explore issues related to world hunger at a Global Hunger Event. This downloadable contains plans for an experiential hunger meal adapted in an age-appropriate way for preschoolers through adults.

Teaching Preschoolers about Hunger
Even preschoolers can learn to reach out to those who suffer from the pain of hunger. This downloadable four-week study gives preschoolers and their families new insights about helping others.

Making It in the Real World: Reality Game of Life and Poverty
Expose your students to the real world of poverty. Challenge them to discover and make the tough, real-life choices of people living in poverty.

Comprendiendo el hambre global
Spanish Version of Understanding Global Hunger: Churchwide Event

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