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Second Harvest Takes Child Hunger Education Series on Tour

Hunger 101 brings kid-focused hunger curriculum to schools, summer camps, and more.

“It’s important to learn about how you can help people who don’t have enough food to eat,” said Hallie, 8, of Nashville. “I am glad the food bank came today and helped show us that kids can help too.”

On a warm summer day at Pip and Pickles Farm, A New Leaf’s summer camp location outside of Nashville, Hallie and about 20 of her fellow campers (ages 8 to 12) gathered for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee child education series – Hunger 101. Presented by Volunteer Coordinator, Corrine Easley, the 30-minute program was specifically designed to help teach kids about hunger in their community and empower them to make a difference.

The child education program, which has been historically hosted at Second Harvest’s Nashville or Camden distribution centers, is now traveling to schools, community centers and camps, like Pip and Pickles Farm – providing customized curriculum to meet each individual hosting site’s setting and student needs.

“I knew a little bit about the food bank but now I know a bunch more,” said Gray, 8, another camper, after the program.

Pivoting Educational Offering During the Pandemic

Mobilizing Hunger 101 and Second Harvest’s child hunger education efforts began amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when the organization had to pivot from in-person to virtual events.

“It was a challenge,” said Corrine, who oversees Second Harvest’s educational events, “but it also provided us with a great opportunity to grow.”

After making connections with schools and educational camps looking for supplemental programming during the pandemic, a new Hunger 101 program emerged. Now with in-person events resuming, Second Harvest is taking the series on the road.

“The response has been incredibly positive,” said Corrine. “The kids love how hands on the activity is and the adults have commented on how great it is to see kids really diving into learning about hunger and what they can do to help. As one comment on our feedback survey says, ‘Children can and are ready to make a difference in fighting hunger!’”

The New Hunger 101

The Hunger 101 child education programming is geared for kids ages 6 to 12. The events can accommodate anywhere from 4 to 40 children and can be customizable based on a site’s space and schedule – including session length (most sessions run from 30 to 90 minutes), topics, and educational needs of the participating children. Sites can also split the hunger education activities into multiple smaller sections across a few days.

“Currently, it is projected that 1 out of every 7 kids in Middle and West Tennessee don’t know where their next meal is coming from as a result of the pandemic,” said Corrine. “Due to these staggering statistics, chances are the children we teach have either experienced food insecurity themselves or they know someone who has. These could be their classmates, neighbors, or family members. Our hope is that if kids can learn about food insecurity in their community at a young age, they can be informed and inspired to make a difference throughout their lives.”

Additional Education Options Available for All Ages

In addition to Hunger 101 our educational offerings have expanded include a hunger simulation for ages 12+, bimonthly documentary showings, and bimonthly book club meetings.

Looking to bring Hunger 101 to your organization or children’s school? Feel free to reach out to Corrine via email at corrine.easley@secondharvestmidtn.org and to discuss what would work best for your group and next steps!

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