Global Hunger


Although the world’s farmers produce enough food to adequately feed everyone on the planet, nearly 925 million people worldwide remain hungry. Global hunger is not a problem of quantity but of access, distribution and control. A host of economic and political forces undermine the ability of farmers in the developing world to produce the necessary food to feed their families and maintain their livelihoods. And U.S. agriculture and development policies play a key role in perpetuating this unjust system. As part of our food justice campaign, Reverse Hunger, AJWS urges the U.S. government and the international community to promote local food production as a basic principle of economic security. Our approach is rooted in the concept of food sovereignty—the right of people to determine their own agricultural and food policies. AJWS believes that through consultation with the communities most impacted by food insecurity, greater investment in local infrastructure and the dismantling of discriminatory trade and agricultural policies, the United States can become a valued partner in combating global hunger.

The upcoming revision of the U.S. Farm Bill provides an important opportunity to reform damaging policies that undermine local farmers and contribute to global hunger. In listening to local people’s needs and investing in their ability to grow and sell their own food, we can end food insecurity and assist the world’s poorest people in lifting themselves out of poverty. Click here to learn more about our Reverse Hunger campaign.

AJWS Resources for Educators

Please visit our Reverse Hunger website for educational resources on global hunger and U.S. food aid policy—a key component of the Reverse Hunger campaign. Materials developed for Global Hunger Shabbat 2012 can be used year-round to educate your community about global hunger. The “101” tab on the Reverse Hunger website also contains fact sheets, educational resources, articles and more on U.S. food aid policy.

In addition, the following resources were developed for Global Hunger Shabbat in 2010 and 2011 and are available for your use:

Interactive Activities

Digging Deep into the Causes of Hunger
This interactive program is designed to engage youth and adults to learn about global hunger and what they can do to make an impact. It uses photography and story-telling to help make global hunger tangible for young people.

Investigating Food Aid
This interactive program will educate teens and adults about ways that U.S. policy (on food aid and agriculture) can have an unintended negative impact on developing countries. This program will also explain how the Farm Bill is an opportunity to effect positive change on these policies.

Solidarity Plate and Readings
Use this interactive resource at the Shabbat table or at a meal (at home or in a communal setting) to tell the story of hunger through the eyes of individuals in developing countries who experience hunger every day and to encourage dialogue at the table.

Serving Broader: A Guide to Connecting Local Service to Global Justice
Though AJWS works to address hunger in developing countries, we acknowledge that service-learning around hunger is easier logistically for many communities when done on a local level. We invite you to use this guide as a resource to connect your local work (perhaps at a food bank or soup kitchen) with global issues. The guide, which can be used with youth and adults, provides a framework for pre- and post-programming discussion questions and text studies.

Text Studies

Joseph and Food Aid: Modern Meaning from an Ancient Food Crisis
By exploring Joseph’s food aid system in Egypt during the years of famine, this text study sheds light on our contemporary food aid system and encourages us to think more critically about how we distribute food aid in times of need.

How Does Judaism View Food Aid?
This text study presents Jewish texts relating to hunger and food aid and challenges us to think critically about how we can work more effectively to alleviate global hunger.

Intention and Action
This text study is designed to facilitate discussion about the role of intention in our pursuit of social justice. Using examples from the Torah, the Talmud and contemporary justice movements, the text study encourages participants to think critically about how to best respond to global hunger.
Click here for the Facilitator’s Guide to Intention and Action.