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Faith & Hunger: Feeding the 5,000

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Need another resource?  Looking for advice? Please contact Kathy Pittenger.

Possible ways to use this playlist:

  • Share with families to use on their own – perhaps after church to reflect on worship
  • Use as a “Sunday School” or kids ministry time either in person or online
    • If using in-person – read the story together, use the wondering questions for discussion and to go deeper, bake the bread, read the book(s), and talk about how your group can take action against hunger, end with a blessing
    • If using online – read the story or invite kids to act out the story (can someone bring bread or fish or baskets or… props to help tell the story – or have a scavenger hunt for kids to find those object or objects that can be substitutes); talk about a question or two, choose one of the activities, or use one of your own, use the prayer or your own, and end with a blessing
  • Use the Bible story and questions as a devotional at a gathering with families and then invite families to go deeper with the prayer list on their own.
  • Invite small groups to use the playlist together (could be an intergenerational group, family groups, etc.)

Feeding the 5,000

Throughout Scripture there are countless stories of people gathered around a table, eating together, and talking about faith and beliefs. In the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand, we have an example of helping to feed people, and it even contains mention of the food coming from the lunch of young boy. When the disciples express their concern for the people needing to eat, Jesus challenges them to feed the people and performs this amazing miracle. We are still called today to help feed people and to utilize the resources we have to work in fighting hunger. (Rev. Michael Vollmer)

mosaic fish and bread

Bible Story

  • Read the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 from John 6:1-13 in your Bible or favorite Bible Story Book.
  • Explore the map of Israel. Find the Sea of Galilee. Jesus did a lot of his ministry in this area.
  • Wonder about the story together:
    • I wonder what it would have been like to be in the crowd listening to Jesus.
    • When have you been in a crowd with a lot of people?
    • When was a time when you were really hungry?
    • I wonder what the child who shared his bread and fish thought when his small meal fed so many people.
    • What do you wonder about?
  • Prayer:
    • Dear God, thank you for stories of Jesus that teach us about sharing, caring for others, and miracles. Help us remember that you can use small things to make a big difference. We pray for those who are hungry and for those who share their food. Amen.


Grow in Your Faith Together

A child shared his food and the people ate! There are people across the world, the United States, Michigan, even in your community. We read stories from the Bible to learn about God, Jesus, and our faith. The stories from the Bible can also inspire us to take action! To notice when there are people who are hurting, hungry, or sad and to be with people. Sometimes that means learning, taking action, or advocating. The activities in this playlist offer ways to deepen our faith through a spiritual practice, a way to learn about hunger, and a way to take action.

Spiritual Practice

Eating Well Involves Sharing Food and Serving Others

Ideas for Eating Well (from Lifelong Faith)

  • Find time for family meals
  • Prepare meals together as a family
  • Tune out distractions
  • Give thanks to God before eating
  • Make conversation and storytelling central at your meal
  • Share food with those in need


Learn About Hunger

Make Survival Biscuits

In situations of famine, emergency food assistance can mean the difference between life and death. Survival biscuits, also called high energy biscuits, can be used in the first days of a food emergency when cooking facilities aren’t available. They are fortified with vitamins and minerals and a lot of protein.

You can mimic the taste of survival biscuits with this recipe, provided by the hunger assistance organization Church World Service.

Take Action

Donate food or money to a local food pantry

How Can We Help the Hungry? use this page to learn more about food insecurity, conversation starters and questions from the book Maddie’s Fridge (see the book section below for more information about the book).

Learn more about hunger and ways that you can take action here.



Maddi’s Fridge

by Lois Brandt

Purchase the book here

Mama Panya’s Pancakes

by Mary and Rich Chamberlin and Julia Cairns

Purchase the book here

Thank You, Omu!

by Oge Mora

Purchase the book here

Music Videos