Hunger Awareness Project

Optimistic, enthusiastic and passionate are three adjectives I would use to describe Marybeth Motasem, a FACS teacher from Ohio. Equally impressive is her Hunger Awareness Project and willingness to share! Inspired by a response she received to a writing prompt and the pandemic, the hunger awareness project was born.


  • Since Marybeth is from Ohio, many of the resources she links to are for her local area/state. You will need to customize some of the resources for your local area/state.
  • Allot approximately 2 weeks to complete this project.
  • While Marybeth felt this project might be an emotional risk and did not want to add more to her students’ plate, she also felt it important for them to step outside their “box” to understand a bigger issue facing many individuals and families during this pandemic.
  • Outside of teaching, Marybeth shared with me that this concern is one of her personal life foci. She recently received approval for a food waste proposal which picks up “back of house” foods at a local catering company and delivers it to local food pantries!


  • It started several years ago with a writing assignment where she asked her students to reflect on challenges they had at school. One response about food insecurity touched her so deeply that she vowed she would do everything in her power to help him and others like him for the rest of her life.
  • She begins the project by sharing that story with her students. In addition, she received a news notification about the worsening problem of hunger in America due to the pandemic.
  • She shares with her students her hope that they gain a greater understanding of the depth of the problem in America and that in some small way each of them can effect change by making others aware of the challenges of hunger or that they create an action project that addresses food security.


  • In order to solve a problem, you first have to understand the problem! In the first step, students begin by learning more about the problem by reading a total of four articles. A list is provided and students must choose four to read and summarize. The fifth article they find on their own.
  • In addition to the articles/summaries, students must watch one video (news report or documentary) and summarize what they’ve learned. Again, resources are provided.
  • For the second phase of the project, students are given a choice board of 9 projects to select from in order to apply what they’ve learned. Options include:
    • Create a PSA using your favorite form of social media
    • Interview someone at a local food pantry or at the MidOhio Foodbank
    • Create a timeline using color coded maps that show the increasing rates of hunger in Ohio
    • Develop your own cookbook with 4-5 recipes that are $4 or under a serving
    • Start your own mini food drive within your family or in your neighborhood by setting out a box with drop off times
    • Paint or draw a picture that demonstrates the devastating effects of hunger (think powerful graphitti)
    • Write a letter to your representative outlining your concerns based on what you have learned from your readings
    • Host a virtual event (make a dinner, buy a dinner)
    • Explore how businesses like Kroger, Giant Eagle, Darden, Kelloggs and Panera are working on ending hunger
  • The third step is to create a plan of action (what will done, when it will be done, and resources needed), complete it and document the action steps.
  • Finally, students create a powerpoint presentation of what they did for this project that will be presented to classmates.


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