Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Heeding the Call: A Program on Justicemaking for Junior High School Youth

Alternate Activity 1: Abundance Banquet

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • White tablecloth
  • Candles
  • Blank paper and markers
  • Decadent snacks
  • Rice crackers
  • Pitcher of water
  • Plates

Preparation for Activity

  • Divide the total number in your group by thirds to know how many will fit in each category. For example, if you have 12 participants, 4 will be well fed, 4 underfed, and 4 starving.

Description of Activity

Youth explore the "haves" and the "have nots" on a global scale.

The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world's population is well fed, one third is underfed, and one third is starving. Every 3.6 seconds, someone dies from hunger. This activity illustrates how many people in the world do not have enough food.

Divide the group in thirds. Involve all the youth in setting up a banquet table with the white tablecloth, candles and decadent snacks. Do not let them know what's coming, but let them have fun setting the table as though there are places for everyone. Have them create their own placemats with the markers and paper. Just as everyone is about to be seated, remove one third of the plates and place them in the corner on the floor and explain that these youth will represent the extreme poor in the world and will receive no snack. Place another third of the plates on a chair with a pitcher of water and a slice of bread. These youth will represent the people who are underfed on a daily basis. Of the remaining third, fill all but one of the plates with snacks. Tell the group that the very last plate represents the richest people in the world. They make up only 2 percent of the world's population, yet hold 50 percent of its wealth. The person who has the last plate gets all the snacks left on the platters.

Ask the group:

  • Who gets to be the one wealthy person and who will starve? How will they decide? Are some participants more worthy of the snacks than others?
  • How does this play out in the real world? Who decides which people get wealthy and can afford an abundance of food and which ones do not?
  • How would you feel if you were starving, yet knew that others ate well?
  • How would feel eating well, knowing others are starving?
  • Tell participants that enough food is already produced to feed everyone in the world. Why do some people still starve?
  • What can we do to alleviate hunger?
  • Do we have a moral responsibility to work to alleviate hunger?