BACKGROUND: Although we are connected to all our sisters and brothers around the world, we are also members of our local community and are called to reach out to all our neighbors in need. In Wisconsin, 19 percent of children are living in poverty. In the city of Milwaukee, that number climbs to 46 percent or almost 1 out of 2 children (Hunger Task Force July 2012 report). Christ calls us to put our faith into action by giving drink to the thirsty and food to the hungry (Mt 25:35) but also calls us to live together as members of one human family; that means seeking justice for those who are marginalized and hope for those who suffer. When one member of the Body of Christ is hurting, we are all hurting!
ACTIVITY: Spend time talking with your class about local issues of hunger and homelessness. Resources, including personal stories, can be found at www.hungertaskforce.org. Other great resources are the St. Vincent de Paul Society at www.svdpmilw.org and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin at www.feedingamericawi.org/news/press/hunger-america-2010-statewisconsin.
As a class, discuss these issues of hunger on a local level. Please be sensitive that some students in your class may be facing these issues themselves. Have students discuss the following:
What are some consequences of so many hungry children (families) in Wisconsin?
How might it affect their lives?
How does this make me feel?
What might Jesus do? What does Catholic Social Teaching call us to do?
Brainstorm some ideas on how you might make a difference as an individual, as a class, and as a community. You may even want them to depict these on posters to hang in your classroom as reminders of your collective commitments.