Canadian Students Share A Dinner of Rice and Lentils With A Side of Awareness

What happens when students in Canada sit down to a meal of rice and lentils to learn about hunger? They realize little actions add up to real hunger solutions when they work together to make a difference.

Picture your school gym at lunchtime on the day of a special event. It’s full of students and energy: you can tell something interesting is about to happen.

This was the scene at Harry Bowes primary school in Stouffville, Canada this February. The students, however, weren’t about to cheer on their basketball team or watch a school play. They were learning about their unique role as students in raising awareness about the world’s greatest solvable problem: hunger.

The school’s special Character Committee organized the event to teach students about the challenge of hunger worldwide and how WFP works to make sure young people have the nourishment to learn. Instead of their usual lunches, the students dug into rice and lentils – common nutritious foods served up to students who receive WFP lunches at school. As they ate, the students learned that one in seven people in the world currently go to bed hungry every night.

However, the students also learned that if they all do a little bit, they could make a big impact supporting WFP together to turn that statistic around. Since it costs only 25 cents to provide a nutritious meal to a student at school, they deposited quarters into a model globe to appreciate how little actions add up to real hunger solutions.

This February lunch event wasn’t the first time students at Harry Bowes got together to learn about what they could do to help solve hunger. In November, students participated in a two-day Freerice marathon in school. They passed laptops from classroom to classroom, answering language and math questions on as they raised real rice for the hungry. At the end of the two days, the students had successfully answered enough questions to donate 166630 grains of rice! And in December, students and families were encouraged to consider donating to WFP in lieu of traditional teacher gifts.

Bringing hunger into the classroom engaged these Canadian students to see just how big of an impact they could have in the lives of students worldwide. How are you getting the word out on hunger at your school? Let us know by emailing stories and photos to