Better You, Better World: Seven 30-Day Self-Improvement Challenges That Also Fight World Hunger

World Food Program USA
Published January 4, 2023
Last Updated December 27, 2023

It’s the new year again, and many of us want to start (or stop) habits to improve ourselves. Maybe it’s reading more books, eating healthier or exercising regularly. What if creating good habits could also create some good in the world? They can!

We’ve developed seven 30-day challenges for self-improvement that will also help improve the lives of people around the world who are experiencing the most extreme levels of hunger this winter. Each of these challenges will help you build a healthy personal habit over the next 30-days and reach your New Year’s resolutions. At the same time, these habits will have a positive global effect, from fighting the climate crisis to sending food to people in need.

That’s right – helping yourself can also help other people. So this new year, as you build a better you, build a better world too.

Here’s the list, let’s get started.

1. Be More Positive on Social Media AND Raise Awareness About Hunger

We all know social media can be a bit unhealthy at times, and lots of us want to improve how we use it. So what if you could use social media in a positive way and advocate on behalf of others? Well, everyday World Food Program USA posts updates about need-to-know hunger news, shares inspirational stories from the field and offers solutions we can all be a part of. By sharing these posts on your accounts, you’re leveraging your social media influence to speak up on behalf of those affected by hunger.

Here’s your challenge: Follow @WFPUSA on one or more of our social channels:

Then commit to sharing at least one of our posts every day for the next 30 days. And there you go! You’ve engaged with social media in a more positive way and become an advocate for ending global hunger.

2. Read More Books AND Learn How Your Food Systems Work

Photo: Endo Munoz/Pexels

One of your goals this year might be to read more books. This goal can also help fight global hunger. When you read books about food systems (e.g. topics like food waste, farming, fair trade, etc.), you develop a better understanding of the main issues that are causing global hunger and the challenges that people face in finding food security. This will help give you better raise awareness and support for fighting global hunger through sharing with others and advocating to elected leaders. There are a lot of books to choose from, so here are a few we’ve read lately:

Here’s your 30-day challenge: Pick one of these books or another book about food production. Divide the number of pages by 30 so you know how much to read each day to finish the book in a month.

Share with us a photo of the book you’re reading by tagging @wfpusa and #30DayChallenge. Tell us your thoughts on what you’re reading!

3. Learn Something New AND Fund Food Relief for Free

Many of us have a goal to learn something new this year. Maybe you want to learn a new language become well-versed in a historical event, or explore a personal interest like astronomy. Wouldn’t it be great if that learning could be gamified and make a difference in the world? Well, it can!

Freerice is a free app that tests your knowledge in various categories of your choosing. You can be quizzed on over a dozen different languages, current events, world history, math, science, and more. There are even categories for movies and pop culture! Each category has five difficulty levels to choose from, so you can pick the level that’s right for you.

The best thing about Freerice is that for every answer you get correct, the cash equivalent of 10 grains of rice is donated to the U.N. World Food Programme to feed someone in need. This is made possible by private sponsors of the game, so the more you play, the more you learn, the more you donate – at zero cost to you!

Here’s your challenge: Play Freerice on your phone or computer at Play the game once a day for the next 30 days and see how many grains of rice you can donate. Last time we checked, the top player had raised over 63 million grains of rice!

Share your accomplishments with us by posting a screenshot of how much rice you’ve donated after 30 days by tagging @wfpusa and #30DayChallenge.

4. Cook at Home AND Send a Meal to Those in Need

Photo: RF Studio / Pexels

While eating out at restaurants or using food delivery services is convenient, it can also get expensive. Cooking at home is a great way to save money and brush up on those culinary skills. A portion of the money you save can help people who don’t know where their next meal is coming.

Here’s your challenge: Reduce eating out or using food delivery services for the next 30 days and commit to cooking and eating at home. The U.N. World Programme can deliver a nutritious life-saving meal for just $0.50, so with the money you save for every meal you cook at home, set aside $0.50. Then after 30 days, tally up those savings and make a donation to World Food Program USA to help provide meals for people in need.

We’d love to see your culinary masterpieces. Share what you’ve cooked with us by posting a photo or video of your meal and tagging @wfpusa and #30DayChallenge. (We also wouldn’t mind getting your recipes.)

5. Waste Less Food AND Fight Climate Change

The climate crisis is the second leading cause of hunger. It’s on all our minds, and living more sustainably is something many of us aspire to do. One of the easiest ways to fight the climate crisis is to reduce your food waste. Rotting food in landfills releases 3 billion tons of methane gas into the atmosphere each year, which intensifies global warming. In other words, if wasted food were a country, it would be the third largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world after the U.S. and China. So by wasting less food, you not only save money, but you’re also helping to save lives.

Here’s your challenge: For the next 30 days, don’t throw away any food. Eat your leftovers; use odds and ends in another meal; put any scraps in a composter. Here are some tips to help you reduce your food waste:

  • Order less at restaurants and be sure to box up leftovers in recyclable containers.
  • Make a grocery list and avoid overbuying, especially perishables.
  • Learn how to properly store and prep your food to last longer.
  • Meal prep so you can use up all the food you have.

We’re eager to see your food-saving hacks. Share with us by posting a photo or video of your food storage methods and tagging @wfpusa and #30DayChallenge.

6. Exercise More AND Raise Money to Help Fight Hunger

Photo: Daniel Reche / Pexels

Fitness is a major goal for many of us in the new year. With an app like Charity Miles, you can improve your health through exercise while improving the health of others through nutritious food. Charity Miles lets your friends and family sponsor you to reach your goals. When you do, you can choose a nonprofit to receive the money. It’s a great motivator to get fit and help deliver food to people in need.

Here’s your challenge: Download the Charity Miles app. Choose your exercise goals and ask your friends and family to sponsor you. Select “World Food Programme” as your charity of choice to help deliver lifesaving food around the world. Then commit to exercising for at least 20 minutes every day for the next 30 days.

We’d love to be part of your journey and cheer you on. Post a photo or video of yourself during your workout and tag @wfpusa and #30DayChallenge.

7. Declutter Your Home AND Help Fight Hunger

Photo: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

Designers are seeing a growing trend in minimalism as people seek to live more simply and sustainably. This new year, you too might be inspired to finally Marie Kondo your home. As you rid your home of clutter, you can also help rid the world of hunger. While it might be easier to just throw away the stuff you don’t need, it’s actually more beneficial to sell it. (It’s rarely helpful to donate it: Here’s why.)

Here’s your challenge: Each day for the next 30 days, choose one item in your home to get rid of. Instead of throwing it away, try to sell it online or in a garage sale. At the end of the month, donate a portion of the money you earned to World Food Program USA to help fight hunger.

We’re interested in seeing the things you’re letting go of. Share with us by posting a photo or video what you’re selling to raise money, and tag @wfpusa and #30DayChallenge.

We hope this list of New Year’s resolution ideas inspires you to work towards your personal development goals. As you create space for self-care and self-improvement, you can also help provide meals for others in need. Isn’t that great motivation? So pick one challenge (or more) and commit to it for the next 30 days. It’s ok if you miss a day, just jump back on the next day – progress is what’s important.

As we’ve mentioned, our World Food Program USA team would love to follow along and cheer you on. Share your journey by posting and tagging @wfpusa and #30daychallenge. Thanks for everything you do to help end global hunger. Here’s to a better you and a better world.