Grow a Garden Classroom: Plant a Row for the Hungry

Students investigate food insecurity in the area. Garden classrooms then plant an extra row of fruits and vegetables and donate that produce to Harvesters by taking it to one of the convenient Plant a Row drop-off sites.

Subject: Social Studies

Grade level: 6-8

Length of lesson: 1 hour plus harvesting

Student Objectives

  • Recognize that food insecurity exists in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area and investigate why
  • Identify which groups are most affected by food insecurity and investigate why;
  • Participate in Harvesters Plant a Row for the Hungry to address food insecurity in the KC area


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Kansas History, Government & Social Studies Standards

The student will recognize and evaluate dynamic relationships that impact lives in communities, states, and nations.

The student will analyze the context of significant relationships and draw conclusions about a contemporary world.

The student will investigate the relationship among people, places, ideas, and/ or the environment and connect those relationships to contemporary issues

Missouri Show Me Standards and Grade Level Expectations in History and Social Studies

SS6 1.9

Analyze how needs are met by groups and organizations (e.g., governments, businesses, schools, religious institutions, charitable organizations, etc.)

SS6 1.6
Evaluate how the needs of individuals are met by families, friends, groups and organizations, such as governments, businesses, schools, religious institutions and charities in other cultures.

Instructional Plan

Introduce the Lesson

  • In Harvesters’ 26-county service area, one in seven people is food insecure. Food insecurity means that a person or household may have food today, but does not know if there will be food tomorrow or enough food for everyone in the household.
  • Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study shows that hunger exists in every county in our nation. In Kansas and Missouri, there are hungry people living in sparsely-populated rural counties, suburban communities and urban centers. As a class find and discuss the hunger statistics for your county. Compare and contrast your findings to other local counties.


Working with a partner, students use the Key Local Findings document to complete the Food Insecurity Investigation. As a class, discuss the students’ findings.

Take Action

  • Using Harvester’s Plant a Row brochure, decide as a class what produce the class will grow to donate.
  • As a class, tend to the garden through harvest.
  • If possible, take a field trip to deliver the produce so students can see Harvesters in action.


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