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To encourage awareness of where our food comes from and the people who are involved before it reaches us.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To encourage an awareness of where our food comes from and the number of people who are involved before it reaches our table.

Preparation and materials

  • This poem can be used as a class presentation to the rest of the school. It is suitable for choral speaking, or the lines can be divided up, according to the number of children in the class, between individuals. It could be linked to a class project about food. The children will need to learn the poem in advance, or alternatively the words can be written on cards for them to read.
  • The scene could be set with a child seated at a table turning his/her nose up at the food in front of them. A short drama could introduce 'mother' or 'father' trying to persuade an unwilling child to eat.
  • Paintings or models made by the children could be held up as each line of the poem is spoken. Alternatively the actual items could be collected and used.
  • The song 'Food, glorious food' from the show Oliver could be used as the children enter the hall.
  • Decide well beforehand where the children will stand and make sure they know exactly what they are to do as each line is spoken. Several practice sessions are advised.


  1. Introduce the short drama of the fussy child, if used, and ask the children afterwards if this has ever happened in their house.

  2. Introduce the poem:

    In life there is a need to eat
    Which most of us all know,
    But do we stop and wonder
    What helped our food to grow?

    This ripened fruit was growing once
    High up on a tree.
    These vegetables were planted,
    These fish swam in the sea.
    The flour for this our daily bread
    Was crushed from golden grain.
    This wheat grew tall in many a field
    Through sunshine, wind and rain.

    Who worked so hard by night and day
    To grow the things we see?
    Who picked and cleaned and packed this food
    To bring to you and me?
    Who drove the lorries? Sailed the ships
    For very many hours?
    Who stocked the supermarket shelves?
    Who stacked them up in towers?

    Who works each day to buy our food?
    Who shops to bring it home?
    Who cooks it just the way we like?
    We really shouldn't moan.

    So when you're feeling fussy
    And food isn't to your taste
    Be thankful that the food is there
    DON'T LET IT GO TO WASTE! (can be said by the whole class)

Time for reflection

Ask the children to close their eyes and think about what they have just heard. Ask them to consider all the people who have played an important part in bringing food to their table.

Dear God,
We remember the words Jesus said:
'Give us this day our daily bread.'
We thank you for the food you give
That helps us grow as well as live.
For those who work our food to bring.
We thank you God for everything.


'We thank you, Lord, for all we eat' (Come and Praise, 136)

Publication date: May 2004   (Vol.6 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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