Oberlin, OH – The Firelands FFA designed and executed a student-lead hunger simulation on February 6th in the high school cafeteria. Freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior student-leaders from the school were invited to attend as participating members of society with a fake identity and financial standing. Each invited individual was given mock-money and assigned an economic class; such as upper class, middle class, lower class, and homeless. Throughout the demonstration, the high schoolers were given a menu of breakfast foods with prices and asked to plan to their purchases and spendings based on the amount of mock-money they were given in the beginning. Homeless started with no money, lower class had a few dollars, middle class had a fair amount, and upper class had more money than they needed. Pretend tax-collectors and real world situations such as divorce or injury, commonly resulted in individuals losing a few dollars here and there; which made it even harder for the majority of people to buy the food. Harvest obstacles occurred as well, such as spoiled crops and flooding; which affected the price of food and made it difficult to finance buying more expensive (but healthier) protein; and led to most paying for cheap carbohydrates and less filling food.
The Business Management class wrote the plan and designed the simulation. The officers of the FFA chapter and Business Management Class ran this mock demonstration that included common economic trends and hardships that majority of citizens face every day. Just as the simulation left some students hungry in the end, many local families and children go to bed hungry every night. The more affordable breakfast foods were processed or composed of sugars and fat that didn’t give long lasting energy; similar to fast and processed foods that food-insecure families eat every day. The demonstration brought attention to the harsh reality that many people in your own community face the challenge of not knowing where their next meal is coming from, and if it will supply a healthy amount of nutrients to keep them full. The chapter invited a speaker from Second Harvest Food Bank to present current statistics and information to the students after the demonstration was over. Throughout the entire presentation, there was an abundance of information shared about productive ways to help the people in your community; such as time donation, nutritious food donations, spreading knowledge about the issue, and much more. Overall, the students involved with the demonstration learned a great deal about the challenges that families face and the facts that hungry people deal with every single day; including not knowing if there will be food on their plates the next day.
To help your local food bank, contact Second Harvest at (440) 960-2265.
Respectfully submitted, Macey Butchko 17-18 Reporter