4-H youth and adult leaders engaged in a hunger simulation before their meeting on January 21, 2018. Hunger is to experience an ache in your belly or a food shortage. The hunger simulation asked youth and adults to take work in pairs and take on personas of families living in very low food insecure households. A very low food insecure family is one that has mulitple disruptions to access to safe, nutritous foods in a socially acceptable way multiple times a year. The families received a monthly budget and had to utilize the local grocery store and the limited food pantry resources to fulfill their adequate calorie intake for one week. Several of the families needed to utilize the human services stations and completed an actual Wisconsin Foodshare application in order to increase their access to foods. Youth leaders Austion George, Morgan Guenther and Naomi Fogel played roles as the store cashier, social worker and volunteer at the food pantry. At times the pantry was closed or individuals experienced inequity in their service. Following the simulation, youth and adults discussed the challenges they experienced living food insecure and how they plan to apply what they learned to the service-learning project for local backpack meals in multiple school districts.
Interested in trying your hand at utilizing a budget for the month? Try http://playspent.org/ and discover some of the challenges and hard decisions of those who at times live food insecure.