Georgia And California Students Win Top Honors In USA TODAY Charitable Foundation And ConAgra Foods National Competition

Competition Engaged Students and Youth Groups in Fighting Child Hunger

May 15, 2013, 14:01 ET from USA TODAY

MCLEAN, Va., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- USA TODAY Charitable Foundation and ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG) are proud to announce the winners of the Child Hunger Ends Here national competition for students in grades 7-12. The competition and related classroom learning activities were part of a larger campaign focused on ending child hunger in the U.S.

The winning classroom is from Lumpkin County High School in Dahlonega, Ga. Amber Gilleland, a health science teacher, led her class in successfully collecting an average of 708 meals per person. The winning classroom will receive a congratulatory luncheon, hosted by ConAgra Foods' marketing executives, today.

The winning student team, "Hunger Proof," is from Brawley Union High School in Brawley, Calif. The team's teacher, Ines Estrada, led the group consisting of five 12th grade students. Each member of the winning team will receive an iPad.

The competition was designed to make kids more aware of the nearly 17 million children facing food needs in communities nationwide. The activities helped to prompt action and advocacy on a local level by asking youths to create a cause marketing plan to activate their communities to collect non-perishable food products and donations and submit the results of their plans in a national competition. For more details, visit

Entries were judged on three criteria: a reflective essay, the average number of meals collected per student in each class or group and the average number of meals contributed per person by the community organizations targeted by the teams' marketing plan. Classrooms and youth groups were judged based on the highest average number of meals collected. The student team with the highest cumulative score based on each of the above components was named the winner.

Last fall, ConAgra Foods continued its Child Hunger Ends Here campaign by also partnering with Feeding America, Schools Fight Hunger and thousands of schools across the country. The program rallied schools to participate in nationwide food and UPC label drives, working toward ConAgra Foods' goal of 5 million meals donated to children and families facing hunger in America during the 2012-13 school year.

Additionally, ConAgra Foods is building a community of people to make a difference, from top musical artists to parents, kids, employees and others to help donate up to 3 million meals. For each 8-digit code found on specially marked ConAgra Foods products and entered at, ConAgra Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America.* This effort complements the ConAgra Foods Foundation's $10 million, five-year commitment to Feeding America, the leader in the fight against hunger nationwide.

About The USA TODAY Charitable Foundation: The USA TODAY Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, supports and builds alliances that enhance innovative, instructional programs and community outreach by providing the resources to promote opportunities and inspire all. It welcomes participation in efforts to engage, enlighten and inspire today's students and educators by opening their classrooms to the real world. The Foundation seeks funding from other foundations, private companies and organizations to help provide educational programs for elementary, secondary schools, community colleges and/or programs in specific disciplines or curriculum areas. Staff work with interested parties to collaborate on the creation of an educational program that meets the mission and goals for respective companies or organizations.

About ConAgra Foods: ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's largest packaged food companies. Its balanced portfolio includes consumer brands found in 97 percent of America's households, the largest private brand packaged food business in North America, and a strong commercial and foodservice business. Consumers can find recognized brands such as Banquet®, Chef Boyardee®, Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hebrew National®, Hunt's®, Marie Callender's®, Orville Redenbacher's® popcorn, PAM®, Peter Pan®, Reddi-wip®, Slim Jim® beef jerky, Snack Pack® and many other ConAgra Foods brands, plus food sold under private brand labels, in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise, club and drug stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong commercial foods presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice, bakery and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. ConAgra Foods operates, an interactive recipe website that provides consumers with dinner ideas and more. For more information, please visit us at

*For every code entered by 8/31/13, ConAgra Foods will donate 12.5¢, the cost for Feeding America to provide one meal through its network of local food banks.  Maximum: 3 million meals. Guaranteed minimum donation: 1 million meals ($125,000). Limit 5 code entries per person/computer each day. Valid in U.S. only.

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