Use the Food Quotations below for this activity. Copy and cut the quotations so there is a matching pair for each pair of participants in the group. Distribute the halved quotations and ask participants to move around the room to find their missing halves. When they have verified a match, have them write their quotation on the board or flipchart paper. Pairs can then consult and write a comment or reaction under their own quotation or under one or two others. Use these comments as a springboard for whole group discussion.
Write a provocative question or statement about the food crisis on the blackboard before the group arrives. As participants enter the room, ask them to write a word, phrase, or response under the statement. Use the responses to discuss perceptions about hunger and food and to introduce facts and statistics about global food insecurity.
- “If my family could no longer afford food, I would …”
- Select a quotation from the Food Quotations above. Or choose two quotations that present contradictory viewpoints.
- Select a statistic from the UN World Food Programme website.
Divide the group into two by drawing numbers or straws. Three-quarters of the participants should be in one group, one-quarter in the other. For example, a group of 20 would have one team made up of 15 people, the other, five.
Divide all the snacks into five portions. Next, give four-fifths of the snacks to the smaller group and the remaining fifth to the larger group. Tell the participants they have to make do with the portions each group has been given. If the groups spontaneously decide to trade snacks and work out deals to redistribute food, let them do this, but do not suggest this to them in advance. Before they eat the snacks, discuss how they are feeling. What seems to be the problem? Too few snack items or something else?
Ask the participants to discuss how this type of unequal distribution might affect people worldwide in the long run. For example, the small group might overeat, leading to obesity, and waste food. The large group could experience hunger and malnutrition, resulting in poor health. Does this really happen in the world? What kinds of attitudes and misunderstandings might develop between two groups with different access to resources?