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The Power of We Starts At The Dinner Table

When I first read Craig and Marc Kielburger's book The World Needs Your Kid (which I wrote about here), I was struck by the way that dinner table conversations ignited a lifetime of activism. Even though I don't think that the "family dinner" is always all it is cut out to be, I do think that finding ways to share our ideas and values with our children and giving them the opportunity to get involved is a really important part of raising socially conscious, empathetic human beings.

Today is Blog Action Day and the the theme this year is The Power of We. I've involved my children in my advocacy and activism before, ranging from listening to the news together, to making charitable donations, to volunteering at the food bank and attending protest rallies. When I traveled to Bangladesh recently with Save the Children, my son wanted to come with me. I hope that one day I will be able to take him on trips like that or that he'll be able to find or create opportunities of his own. Until then, we will continue to find ways in our every day lives to engage our children in thinking about the issues and making the world a better place.

Tomorrow is World Food Day and our family has decided to participate by contributing to Save the Children's Extra Plate campaign.

Here's how it works...

On October 16th, World Food Day, Save the Children invites you to set an “extra plate” at your table for a child facing extreme hunger. That extra plate represents the meal you can provide for a malnourished child in West Africa. It’s the person you can help and the life you can save.

For just $30—the cost of an average meal—you can feed a hungry girl or boy for two weeks. That includes special therapeutic foods to revive a child who is severely malnourished.

The donations support feeding centres that parents can bring their malnourished, hungry children to for an assessment, a meal, and referral to additional medical treatment if necessary. Different countries have different needs. In West Africa, the drought and associated crop failure means that mothers don't have anything to feed their children. They are desperate and watching their children die. Each year, under-nutrition is implicated in about 35% of the 7.6 million deaths of children under five in developing countries.  Help is urgently needed to give more of these children a chance at life.

My children each drew a plate of food and we'll set places at our table and support two malnourished children with a donation of $30 each ($60).

Will your family join us in donating, sharing the campaign or asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take action to end world hunger?

I want to hear from you. How do you use the Power of We in your home to pass your values on to your children? From monetary donations to small acts of kindness, there are so many ways that kids can get involved and help. I can't wait to read your ideas.

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Reader Comments (4)

Non-useful comment: who on earth has an average meal of $30? That is a lobster dinner, or food for a week.

Slightly less un-useful comment: I hadn't heard about the Extra Plate campaign, so thanks for the link!

October 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie


I have to admit that the $30 figure seemed a bit high to me too, so I asked Save the Children to explain how they arrived at that number. Here is their answer:

We looked at StatsCan’s table of food prices for 2012. We used it to put together a menu for a family (of four’s) meal of the following:
- 1.5 kg of chicken at $6.9/kg
- 1 kg of potatoes at $5.77/kg
- 1 kg of carrots at $1.77/kg
- Loaf of bread at $2.76
- 1 L of skim milk at $2.30

The total cost was $22.89, but when you compare it to a dinner out, which, according to a recent poll by Visa Canada, places the cost of the average take-out lunch at between $7-$13/person (i.e. for a family of four $28 - $52), we thought that it was appropriate to say that the average Canadian meal (for a family of four) would cost approximately $30.

That meal described above is certainly more than my family eats, but my kids are still small. By the time they are teens, that might be closer to what we really eat. That said, when we do get take-out it usually does end up in the $25 to $35 range and if we go to a restaurant it is usually in the $30 to $60 range for the four of us.

October 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

[...] The Power of We Starts At The Dinner Table | PhD in Parenting. ← Big Fringe Garland [...]

[...] The Power of We Starts At The Dinner Table | PhD in Parenting. See all our posts about Parenting Tips | Leave a comment [...]

October 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGiving At The Dinner Table

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