NEW YORK, Sept. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, C&S Wholesale Grocers, the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S., joins FoodCorps, a national nonprofit that connects kids to healthy food in schools, to commemorate National Hunger Action Month by announcing the winner and runners-up of the annual Victory Growers essay contest. The goal of the essay contest, which is currently in its fifth consecutive year, is to raise awareness of hunger in schools and communities across the country. This year's first place winner is Amanda Greenlee, a FoodCorps service member serving in Paterson, New Jersey. The two runners-up are Ellie Doyle and Zoe Flavin, who served in East Boston and Lowell, Massachusetts, respectively.
The Victory Grower's contest was launched in 2014 as a way for C&S Wholesale Grocers to provide additional support to FoodCorps service members in under-resourced communities. The essay contest has served as a vehicle to raise awareness about child hunger and to encourage readers to take action to support communities where hunger is an ongoing issue. In 2018, the essay contest was open to all 225 FoodCorps service members serving communities across the country. The winner of the essay contest receives a $5,000 award that will go toward food education programs. Two runners-up will each receive $1,000 awards.
Amanda Greenlee's winning essay provides a snapshot of the complex socioeconomic factors that create challenges to healthy eating for elementary school children. These challenges often result in higher incidence of diet-related disease. In Paterson, N.J., where Amanda serves, 1 in 2 children is on track to develop Type 2 diabetes. However, this trend can be addressed through education. "I have seen firsthand how nutrition education has improved my students' attitudes toward healthy eating and their willingness to taste new foods," explains Amanda.
The essay contest's two runners up, Ellie Doyle and Zoe Flavin, each considered the role of community in addressing hunger. Ellie Doyle, who serves in East Boston, believes education makes the biggest impact in healthier eating: "Teaching children to grow and prepare their own food is empowering. Teaching them that these things can be done within their own neighborhoods, with their families, is even more important." Similarly, Zoe Flavin writes in her essay on the importance of inclusion when addressing hunger, "No matter how healthy the food on their lunch plate is, for students to feel nourished, they must be in a space where they feel as though they are welcome and understood."
FoodCorps is a national service program that teaches children about healthy eating through three main areas of service: Hands on Learning, Healthy School Meals, and by creating a Schoolwide Culture of Health. With over 200 AmeriCorps leaders serving in over 300 schools in communities across the continental United States and Hawai'i, FoodCorps seeks to ensure students learn what healthy food is, fall in love with it, and eat it every day. Since 2014, C&S Wholesale Grocers has partnered with FoodCorps to support its hunger prevention and food access work with schools in under-resourced communities.
For more information, please visit www.foodcorps.org or follow @foodcorps on Facebook and Instagram.
About C&S Wholesale Grocers C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., based in Keene, NH, is the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S. and the industry leader in supply chain innovation. Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, C&S now services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 14,000 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases, and institutions with over 140,000 different products. We are an engaged corporate citizen supporting causes that positively impact our communities. To learn more, please visit http://cswg.com.
About FoodCorps FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who connect kids to real food and help them grow up healthy. FoodCorps places these leaders in limited-resources communities for a year of public service where they conduct hands-on food education, build and tend school gardens, and facilitate getting high-quality local food into public school cafeterias. Serving alongside educators and community leaders, FoodCorps members partner with schools to create a nourishing environment for all students. To learn more about FoodCorps' work across the country, visit http://www.foodcorps.org