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Poetry X Hunger

Attention All Middle and High Schoolers (6th-12th Graders)!

Do you want to help eliminate hunger and poverty through the power of your pen? Join in the Poetry X Hunger project! Write poems which inspire your readers to prevent and eradicate hunger and poverty. Poetry submissions are accepted throughout the year.

Your poems will be posted on the Expressive Arts 4-H website, with the potential for inclusion in the national Poetry X Hunger website. You can read your poems at 4-H, school and community events. Through your poetry, you will encourage your audience to become advocates against hunger and poverty. Your poetry can spark social justice legislation and community service volunteerism such as food pantry work and food collection.

Submit your poem here

Poetry X Hunger was created in 2017 by Dr. Hiram Larew, former Director of International Programs at the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture and award-winning poet. Aware of the power of poetry, Larew has rallied the public to write poems that motivate the world to end hunger.

Ellen Williams, Expressive Arts 4-H Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension states, "Data and statistics may reach the mind, but poetry reaches the heart and soul. Your poems can inspire others to take action against hunger and poverty". If you have questions about submitting your poetry to Poetry X Hunger, contact Ellen Williams at

You can visit the Poetry X Hunger website for more information.

Below, you will find an example of a youth poem entered by Jordan Culmer to Poetry X Hunger.

Hunger Spell

I'm hungry
stomach growling as I crave for food
mouth watery as flavors lurk in my thoughts and
my mood changes
they say "food doesn't happen without work" but what happens to those
who are looked past and forgotten?
starved and deprived with
no years supply
This became my life
add a pinch of truth
mix in a heaping tablespoon of want
I'm so hungry
Food stamps haven't come in
so wheat bread, processed ham or turkey, & mayonnaise sandwiches with water is what I'm devouring
Oh good my "favorite"
or maybe I'm used to it - it was cheap & easy to fix fast and quick
Better meals I've prayed for it
I'm not trying to be a disturbance
to the system but I'm hungry
You must not understand my language
so allow me to reverse the script
Step into my shoes
Open your ears and hear your stomach speak
It's desire for you to eat
I'm hungry and my spell is on you
Now tell me
Aren't you hungry too?