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Teaching About Hunger This Thanksgiving

Lessons about feasts, past and present, are likely in many American classrooms this week. Some may even include samplings of Thanksgiving staples like turkey and stuffing, cranberries and pumpkin pie.

While the historical narratives about the Pilgrims are an important part of the curriculum, the folks at the United Nations World Food Program are hoping that current-day issues related to hunger around the world will also get some time in the school day.

Earlier this year the WFP unveiled an online tool for instilling lessons about global food resources and the problems wrought by shortages. The site includes lesson plans and activities, blogs, videos, interactive games, and other resources for introducing the topic of hunger into the curriculum.

The project overall aims to inform and educate children about the world's resources and the unequal distribution of wealth and materials across the globe. It also hopes to motivate students to take action in their communities and come up with ideas that help solve the problem.

Now the Rome-based organization has launched an international video competition to tap into those ideas to create the "edgiest, most provocative" messages that spread the word about the impact of hunger around the world. The Hunger Bytes program is accepting submissions of short videos through Dec. 31. Teachers are encouraged to send in student videos. Here are last year's finalists, courtesy of the WFP:

Finalists will be featured on a playlist of videos on the WFP's YouTube channel and the five most popular among viewers will be judged by a panel of prominent film professionals. The winning video will be produced by panel members.

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