Today my 8th graders watched a powerful report on the state of Food Banks in New York City (which likely mirrors the state of Food Banks around the country).
First, before knowing the topic, I asked them to do a quick write about a time they felt very hungry. Being adolescents, they found that relatively easy to remember. Next, I told them that I actually don't remember a time I felt hunger (which is true) and that I am much likely to remember times where I felt I overate.
Then I told them a statistic I heard (not confirmed) that the average American household throws away up to 40% of their food into the garbage. We talked about how much food they threw away yesterday in their lunches.
Then I said that hunger is not just an "international" problem: that people in our own country, up to 28 million, are in food "danger" any given week.
We watched the Bill Moyers report.
Then we looked at the two empty Food Bank barrels in the hallway and thought how quickly we could fill them up with canned and dry food if the entire school worked on this project.
My students were visibly moved by the report and the project!