Hunger In God’s World
Hunger in God’s World is a four-part workshop curriculum that has been developed for churches over the years.
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The curriculum, created primarily for church groups, consists of four sessions. The first session is called “Who Is Hungry and Why?” and teaches participants about hunger around the world through group exercises. The second, “Hunger Has a Face,” introduces personal stories of hungry people and the realities they face. “What Does God Want from Me?” explores, in the third session, biblical teachings about caring for poor and marginalized people. “What Can One Person Do?” includes, in the final session, definite steps that churches and individuals can take in responding to the needs of hungry people. HIGW has been presented to youth groups, confirmation classes, seminary classes and adult study groups.
The curriculum has been presented by the Atlanta Food Bank. Through a partnership with Caritas of Waco, the Seeds staff trained Linda Yoon, a student in the Baylor University School of Social Work, to conduct the workshop. Among other uses of the curriculum, Yoon translated it into Korean and presented it a children’s group. (See below for recent presentations at Central Texas churches.)
Hunger in God’s World and Cooking Matters in Low-Income Neighborhoods
Several years ago, however, Conway Del Conti, Hunger Coordinator for the Waco Regional Baptist Association (WRBA) in Waco, TX, paired the workshop with the innovative “Cooking Matters” program from “No Kid Hungry” to help women in a housing development find ways to overcome hunger and create community in their neighborhood.
Cooking Matters, founded in 1993 as part of Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign, teaches participants to shop smarter, use nutrition information and prepare delicious meals that are affordable even on a SNAP (Food Stamp) budget. Volunteer instructors from Cooking Matters have helped thousands of low-income families across the country learn how to eat better for less. The pilot for the program began at Waco’s Kate Ross Housing area during the summer of 2014 and was repeated in 2015, with instructors from Acts Church, a church in the Kate Ross neighborhood. Del Conte said her goal was to teach the class more about food insecurity—theirs and that of others around the world.
Before Del Conte took the workshop to Kate Ross, it had always been offered in churches and agency settings, and most of the participants had been at least somewhat affluent. But the women who attended Del Conte’s classes didn’t have to use their imaginations to understand how hunger feels. Nevertheless, they were eager to learn about food insecurity in other parts of the world. As a result of their studies, they formed a community of their own, working together to come up with ways to help each other. The WRBA then printed the curriculum and the Seeds staff trained consultants to take the workshop, along with cooking classes, to churches in the area.
Atlanta Food Bank: In 2018, Alexis Weaver of the Atlanta Food Bank employed HIGW for a training there.
Greater Bosqueville Baptist Church: Later that summer, the Seeds staff presented the workshop to the youth and children of Greater Bosqueville Baptist Church in Bosqueville, TX.
In “Who’s Got the Food” exercise, students are assigned to continents or countries and given bowls. Then they are given a portion of beans that correspond to that area’s food resources. In the “Where Are People Hungry?” exercise, students find and mark on a map the countries and regions where they know people are hungry.
During the “What Does God Want from Me?” session, students find scriptures that tell us God wants us to care for hungry and vulnerable people. During the “What Can One Person Do?” session, students look at practical ways to respond to the problems of hunger in the world and in their community.
Below are photos from the two Saturday morning sessions. Photos are by Syeeda Echols, minister to youth and children at GBBC.
Calvary Baptist Church, Waco, TX: In February 2019, a Seeds team spent four Wednesday evenings with the youth of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, TX, leading them through the four sessions of Hunger in God’s World. Below are photos from those sessions, courtesy of youth minister Ali Chappell DeHay.
First photo: During the “Who’s Hungry and Why?” session, students discuss where people are hungry. On a large map, they locate and mark countries where people are hungry, around the world and in their own community. Second photo: Also as part of the workshop’s first session, students ponder how to solve the imbalance of food distribution as Seeds editor Katie Cook (standing, back) looks on.
Third photo: During the “What Does God Want from Me” session, Guilherme Almeida (far right on couch) joins the students as they use concordances to look for scripture passages about helping hungry people. Fourth photo: In the “What Can One Person Do?” session, students fit puzzle pieces together as they discuss practical ways to help hungry people.