A group of international and non-governmental organizations have joined forces in an effort to end hunger and malnutrition through educating children and young people. The coalition's vision is a world that provides for and protects the welfare and human dignity of all its people — a world in which all children can grow, learn and flourish, developing into healthy, active, caring members of society.

To that end, the global coalition has spearheaded a worldwide education effort to teach school children of all ages about hunger and malnutrition issues. The new project, called “Feeding Minds; Fighting Hunger” provides classroom materials for teachers to help children in grades K-12 understand the problem of hunger in the world.

“Hunger and food insecurity affect everyone,” said Patricia Young, National Coordinator for the program and national coordinator for the U.S. National Committee for World Food Day. “While there is presently enough food for everyone, nearly a billion people are undernourished. If ways are not found to insure a safe, accessible and sustainable global food supply, the long-term security of the human family could be jeopardized.”

Each lesson contains background information for the teacher and outlines the main objectives, concepts and content areas to be covered. The lessons are available on the Web at

www.feedingminds.org.

With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the materials have been translated into all official United Nation languages for World Food Day, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish. Other languages, including Portuguese, will follow.

“Feeding Minds; Fighting Hunger” is a key part of the worldwide observance of World Food Day in October. It is anticipated that teachers will use the lesson then as well as when the subject matter fits their teaching syllabus.

“This global classroom exercise means children and youth everywhere, on the same day, will be studying the same text, about the same issues, with the knowledge that their counterparts in classrooms around the world are engaged in the same endeavor,” said Young.

The manual is a prototype for each of the three school levels — primary, intermediate and secondary. Teachers from all grade levels can submit lessons generated in the specific classes for use by other teachers around the world on subsequent World Food Days.

“By engaging in this shared study and action experience, children and young adults can gain a new sense that all people are united by a common plight,” said Young.