Upper Canada College Grade 5 students got a brief taste of what it’s like to live with food uncertainty as part of a Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition project examining childhood poverty.
Grade 5 students Christian Coffey, Nico Jeffery and Andrew Morse — with assistance from group mentor Tina Jagdeo and Prep Aramark manager Tim Shaughnessy — organized the “Global Lottery Lunch” in the Prep dining hall on May 6.
The idea was to show disparities in food distribution around the world. The boys’ research revealed that, globally, 13 per cent of people are in chronic hunger, 63 per cent sometimes have enough food and 24 per cent always have enough to eat. Those ratios were used for the 37 of 60 Grade 5 boys (those not enrolled in the hot lunch program paid five dollars to take part) who participated in the special lunch, which raised money for The Global Poverty Project’s Live Below The Line initiative. Boys were randomly assigned coloured wristbands, with: green recipients receiving a scoop of porridge; white recipients getting rice, beans and kale; and blue recipients being served a hamburger, a bag of potato chips and ice cream.
The three student organizers questioned and captured the reactions of boys once they saw what they were getting for lunch, and they’ll be edited together into an iMovie that will be shown as part of their PYP Exhibition project on Friday, May 8.
“That would not be fun to eat porridge every day,” says Jeffery.
The three boys had to research how people eat around the world, child poverty and hunger, and tell each Grade 5 class about their findings of how these things can affect such aspects of life as concentration and mental and physical development. In the most severe cases, 21,000 children die each day around the globe due to poverty.
Boys and their families were also asked to take the Live Below The Line challenge, where each person is asked to spend no more than $1.75 a day on food and drinks for five days to deepen their understanding of the challenges faced by individuals living in extreme poverty. A follow-up review will take place with those who took part.
The lunch was another example of how PYP Exhibition projects can show 10-year-old boys how to make a difference as part of a global village, and participants enjoyed this learning and dining experience so much that they hope they can do it again next year.