What is Hunger?

What Is Hunger? (adapted from Bread for the World)

Everyone feels hungry on a daily basis. Most people are able to satisfy this craving and need. Even if not immediately, they can count on having a meal or snack within hours. This is not the only type of hunger.

People who suffer chronic hunger don’t have the option of eating when they are hungry. They do not get enough calories, essential nutrients, or both. People who are hungry have an ongoing problem with getting food to eat. They have a primary need — how to feed themselves and their children today and tomorrow. They have little energy for anything else.


Questions about Hunger

  • When was a time you were really, really hungry, and what was that like? What did you do? 
  • What do you think other people do if they are really, really hungry and they don’t have enough food to make them full?


Reflecting on Our Faith

  • In the Bible, Jesus says “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35). What do you think it might mean that Jesus calls himself “the bread of life”? How might this make us think about the bread we eat differently?


Eating Mindfully

“Nothing Comes from Nothing” (from How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh)


With just a little bit of mindfulness, you can truly see where your bread comes from. It has not come from nothing. Bread comes from the wheat fields, from hard work, and from the baker, the supplier, and the seller. But the bread is more than that. The wheat field needs clouds and sunshine. So in this slice of bread there is sunshine, there is cloud, there is the labor of the farmer, the joy of having flour, and the skill of the baker and then—miraculously!—there is the bread. The whole cosmos has come together so that this piece of bread can be in your hand. You don’t need to do a lot of hard work to get this insight. You only need to stop letting your mind carry you away with worrying, thinking, and planning.