Family Discipleship Guide: Hunger

Some Watermark parents go further than just donating cans with their family to address the issue of Hunger. They create an intentional discipleship experience for their family! So we wanted to provide resources to help you disciple your family around the issues of Hunger and Poverty.

Below are several ways to engage your kids on this topic. Choose one or more, and help your kids learn about this issue - and how we can respond!

Learn the Terms!

Hunger in America often looks different than hunger in less developed nations, but it's still a very real issue. To understand what hunger looks like around us, it helps to examine different terms used to describe the issues involved.

As a family, search the internet for / talk about the terms below and how they might affect people in Dallas. Talk about the feelings of someone who would experience one or many of these.

  • "food insecurity"
  • "malnutrition"
  • "food desert"
  • “food swamp”
  • School Lunch programs / School Breakfast programs
  • "seasonal hunger"

Engage God's Word Together

Take a "Scripture Scavenger Hunt!" As a family, look through the Bible to see what God says about poverty and hunger. What does He say about helping the poor, loving our neighbors, or connecting with people who may not have as many material resources as others? You can Google or use Bible Gateway to find some verses, or the concordance of your Bible. (Or use the suggestions below!)

Your “hunt” might land you in the following passages (among others). What are different ways that your family can live each of these out? Matthew 25:34-46, I John 3:17-18, Isaiah 58:10, Luke 3:11, James 2:14-18, Proverbs 14:31, Proverbs 22:9, Proverbs 28:27, Proverbs 31:20.

Next look at the Gleaning Laws in Leviticus 19:9-10, 23:22, and Deuteronomy 24:19-22. What do the gleaning laws say about God? What do they show He wants His people to be?

Read the Book of Ruth (especially Chapter 2) for an example of gleaning and compassion-in-action. How did Boaz go "above and beyond" in helping the hungry and hurting?

Pray together for those who struggle with hunger and for God to guide you in how you can be specific in meeting their needs.

See Others' Hunger

Watch the video clip below** as a family, then discuss the questions below.

**The link at the end of the video offers a website that is helpful for gaining more understanding about hunger. While we don't necessarily agree with everything they present (particularly their emphasis on government-focused solutions), there are several good tools on that site.

  • Do you know anyone who gets a free meal at school? How did you find out?
  • What did you learn in the video about why some kids receive a free meal?
  • How are the kids who receive free meals treated by other kids? How do you treat them? What are ways that you can engage with them and love them?
  • What would you buy if you only had $3.00 to spend on food tomorrow? What would you buy if you only had $1.00?
  • How would you feel if you could only eat junk food, almost all the time? How would you feel the first day? How might you feel after a week or a month?
  • Feeling “full” and healthy is very important. If you didn’t get to eat enough, what are all the different areas of your life that would be affected? (This could include health, schoolwork, sleep, missing school days, feeling shame, etc..)
  • What's our family's attitude toward what we have? Do we complain, when we should be thankful? Do we keep it to ourselves, when we should be generous?
  • What does God want us to do to help people who are hungry around us?

Build a "Hunger Help Fund"

Decide on an amount of time that you want to “give something up” to build a “Hunger Help Fund.” One you decide on an amount of time, decide what you will “give up.” Here are some ideas:

  • eat rice and beans only for a week
  • eat at home instead of going out for two weeks
  • cut your grocery budget in half for a week and shop creatively to stay within the new budget
  • each family member pick something to give up, i.e. dessert, Starbucks, or Cokes

At the end of your specified time, use the Hunger Help Fund to help donate food, or to give help to people in need. Also think through making the “Hunger Help Fund” a permanent part of your lives.

Plan Your Grocery Trip

If you're planning to donate food, you can shop intentionally with your kids!

Before grocery shopping, think through these things as a family:

Healthy vs Cheap: Talk with your kids about healthy food versus unhealthy food. Ask them: Is it better to buy food that will help someone feel full for a little while, or food that will fill them up AND help them be healthy long-term? (You might also compare costs with your children, and help them see how hard it is for people to afford healthier foods.)

Nutrition: Look at the list of the foods highest in nutritional value (from the North Texas Food Bank): Soup, Stew or Chili (Low-Sodium), Canned Vegetables (Low-Sodium), Beans (Canned or Dried), Canned Tuna or Chicken, Fruit (Canned in Juice or Dried),Peanut or Almond Butter, Reduced Sugar Pudding Cups, 100% Real Fruit Rolls, Whole Grain Crackers, Granola Bars, Lightly Salted Trail Mix, and Brown Rice. Talk with your kids about what makes these food products better than other foods.

Helping vs. Feeling Good: Pray as a family about serving people in ways that truly help, not just in ways that make us feel good. Discuss the difference. While at the store:

  • Let your kids take part in finding foods! As each person picks food, discuss why it makes a good selection.
  • As you buy each can or package, have your kids imagine how the person eating it will feel. (Take every opportunity you can to reinforce that real people who live near them will eat this food!)
  • When you bring your cans to the food bank, let your kids help! Encourage them to tell the staff or volunteers what they're bringing - and why!