GAITHERSBURG, Md., Sept. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation announced its new Hunger Squad Competition, featuring the five national 2016 Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarship honorees who previously received a $5,000 scholarship for their education as well as a $5,000 grant for the hunger charity of their choice.
These nominees, who are portrayed as various hunger-fighting superheroes, are now in the running to win an additional $5,000 grant to further their efforts via an online competition where voters choose which student they think is making the biggest impact.
Voters are eligible to cast their ballots online via the Sodexo Insights blog once a day from September 26th until October 2nd. The winner will be announced on October 3rd.
The national scholarship honorees comprise students from fifth grade to college. Their hunger fighting activities include building community gardens, mobilizing volunteers, recovering surplus food, stocking food pantries and more.
"Since 2007, we have recognized more than 200 students who help fight hunger in their communities," said Robert A. Stern, president, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. "The Foundation has provided $629,000 in scholarships and grants, supporting students diligently working to end the plight of hunger, which affects nearly 42 million Americans."
The Hunger Squad members are:
- Ian McKenna Goncalo, Austin, TX – Ian created The Giving Garden, a program that grows school and community gardens so children in need can take home fresh fruits and vegetables to their families. Ian recruited more than 170 volunteers, raised $8,500, and was able to build 18 raised beds and plant 21 fruit trees. Since 2011, The Giving Garden has produced nearly 2,800 pounds of food for 54 families and the local soup kitchen. Beyond gardening, Ian has hosted cooking demonstrations at area schools and spoken to over 1,000 people about the issue of childhood hunger encouraging other youth to get involved. Vote for Ian to win $5,000 for Katie's Krops.
- Hannah Steinberg, Scarsdale, NY –Hannah started Our Coupons Care to channel her passion for couponing to help those in need. Hannah recruited more than 100 volunteers to help her collect and clip coupons to purchase food and nonperishable items for a nearby homeless shelter. She organized a group of her peers for a couponing marathon so that all of the shelter's families could enjoy a home-cooked meal and have plenty of food during the holiday season. Her donations have helped more than 1,800 people. Since 2011, Hannah has raised over $21,500 and purchased over $108,000 worth of goods to help families that have fallen on hard times. Vote for Hannah to win $5,000 for Our Coupons Care.
- Brianna LeFran Moore, Oak Park, MI –Brianna is the founder and president of Operation Warm Up/Warm Heart, an organization that focuses on helping those in need of basic necessities. Since 2012, Brianna and her 900 volunteers have served 15,000 children meals through Operation Warm Up/Warm Heart and served nearly 6,000 lunches to children through the "Meet Up and Eat Up" summer meal program. She also started a pancake program providing breakfast for over 5,000 children since 2014, and collects turkeys, hams and nonperishables during the holidays to donate over 11,000 pounds of food for families in need. Vote for Brianna to win $5,000 for Gleaners Community Food Bank.
- Olivia Hodge, Blacksburg, VA –Olivia organized funds and resources to launch the Bruin Snack Closet so children could discreetly get free snacks during school. She also volunteered with Micah's Backpack to deliver 70,000 meals in 2015, and helped to expand the summer meal sites to reach an additional 40 kids. Since 2009, Olivia has helped children access 250,000 meals. Vote for Olivia to win $5,000 for Micah's Backpack.
- Jackson Silverman, Charleston, SC – Jackson is the founder of I Heart Hungry Kids, an organization that harnesses "Kid Power" by hosting meals packing parties where kids help kids in need. In 2013, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation provided Jackson with a Global Youth Service Day grant to pack 150 bags of food. What started with one grant has grown into a non-profit with 1,477 volunteers who have provided 86,000 meals for local children and raised over $35,000. Jackson has spoken to more than 2,000 kids about child hunger and hopes to continue his efforts. Vote for Jackson to win $5,000 for I Heart Hungry Kids.
2016 Scholarship Application Period Opens
The Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships is a program of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation that recognizes students who are driving awareness and mobilizing youth to be catalysts for innovative models that provide solutions to eliminate hunger in America. This program will begin accepting new applications from October 5th through December 5th. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in an accredited education institution (kindergarten through graduate school) in the United States and be able to demonstrate an enduring commitment to hunger-relief activities in their community.
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, was created with the mission to ensure that every child in the United States grows up with dependable access to enough nutritious food to enable them to lead a healthy, productive life. Sodexo, Inc. funds all administrative costs for Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation to ensure that all money raised helps those in need. Since its inception, the Foundation has granted more than $27 million to alleviate child hunger.
Visit the Foundation's website for additional information on how it helps to address childhood hunger.
Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.
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