Share Our Strength Announces Winners for No Kid Hungry Student Essay Contest and Introduces Schools for No Kid Hungry, Every Kid Healthy

Awareness and Fundraising Program to Engage Youth in Affecting Change

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America, today announced the winners of its No Kid Hungry student essay contest. The contest was part of Share Our Strength's Go Orange for No Kid Hungry® campaign, which encouraged people to wear orange (the color of hunger awareness) September 6-9; the contest invited students to answer the question, "Why is ending childhood hunger in America important to you?"

A panel of leaders from national youth nonprofits, Share Our Strength corporate partners and Share Our Strength leadership selected three winners from two age-specific brackets, with one additional grand prize winner. The prize for first-place winners was $500, $250 for second, and $125 for third place, courtesy of Sodexo Foundation. The grand prize winner received a No Kid Hungry gear prize package in addition to $500.  

Share Our Strength is pleased to announce the following winners of the No Kid Hungry essay contest (full essays at NoKidHungry2.org/goorange):

  • Grand Prize Winner: Natasha Suri, age 16, Scarsdale, New York.
    Excerpt: "Ending childhood hunger is important to me especially since it is so eminently fixable, given that the solution ... is right in front of us."  
  • Ages 15 and Over:
    • 1st: Kyle Frank, age 15, Glencoe, Oklahoma.
      Excerpt: "Food is a valuable asset needed to secure a child's future as well as our own."
    • 2nd: Austin Jones, age 17, El Dorado Springs, Missouri.
      Excerpt: "Childhood hunger in America is important to me because it happened to me. ... I'm an athlete and often would burn more calories than I ate. ... It hurts and I hated it and all I wanted was to eat. No kid should have to go through it. ... I am blessed that I no longer have to."
    • 3rd: Sana Moqueet, age 16, Chicago, Illinois.
      Excerpt: "Hunger is a desire the human body cannot control, yet a healthy body controls our ability to do well in school, make friends and maintain a positive attitude in life."
  • Ages Under 15:
    • 1st: Athena Sofides, age 14, Brooklyn, New York.
      Excerpt: "It is almost impossible that a hungry child can concentrate on what is being taught in the classroom when their bellies are aching and their minds are starving. ... America's children are bound to do great things. ... And we can help them by feeding them."
    • 2nd: Emily P., age 14, Columbus, Georgia.
      Excerpt: "Ending childhood hunger is important to me simply because it is not just."
    • 3rd: Emma Bushman, age 11, Cincinnati, Ohio.
      Excerpt: "I think about that girl, and how hard it must be to learn to read when you are hungry."

More than 16 million children in the U.S. struggle with hunger, a fact that America's youth cannot accept for themselves or their peers. The No Kid Hungry essay contest allowed kids of all ages to use the power of story to be advocates for their generation.  

"This has been a great experience -- we have lots of kids here affected by this issue," said Debbie Vickers, a teacher at El Dorado Springs High School in El Dorado Springs, Missouri. "Writing these essays has given many of them the voice to express their concerns and tell about their experiences."

The contest was part of Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry month this past September, and set the stage for the nonprofit's new pilot program, Schools for No Kid Hungry and companion program No Kid Hungry, Every Kid Healthy. Both programs provide young people opportunities to join the No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America through their schools and on their own through awareness building and fundraising.

No Kid Hungry, Every Kid Healthy is a turn-key program that helps students begin to develop life-long healthy eating habits themselves while raising funds to help make sure that children less fortunate than they can grow up healthy, too. Students choose one or more "Every Kid Healthy Activities" and collect financial pledges from friends, family and neighbors to help end childhood hunger in America. Students who raise as little as $15 receive prizes, and adult coordinators receive a kit that includes helpful hints for organizing the event, a t-shirt, handouts for every student and posters for the school.  Curriculum and recipes are also available to teachers and parents. Prizes are awarded to the top three elementary, middle and high schools.  Adult leaders interested in doing entirely in-school activities can find additional ideas at NoKidHungry2.org/schools.

NoKidHungry2.org, a website for youth ages 5-25, the "Go Orange" Essay Contest and Schools for No Kid Hungry is generously supported by Sodexo Foundation, which is committed to empowering young leaders to help end childhood hunger in America. To learn more, visit www.NoKidHungry2.org.

About Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign and No Kid Hungry2

No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry® campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and teaches low-income families to cook healthy, affordable meals through its Cooking Matters program.  This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, public officials, nonprofits, business leaders and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.  No Kid Hungry2 presents America's youth with opportunities and ideas to become part of the campaign through education and actions. See how at www.NoKidHungry2.org.

Media Contact: Cate Puzo, cpuzo@strength.org, O: 202.649.4357

SOURCE Share Our Strength



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