The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand Awards Local Lawrence, KS Fourth Grader With $30,000 Cafeteria Makeover And $15,000 Cash Prize

Area Public Officials, Community Leaders and More than 220 Raintree Montessori School Students Honor Jasmy Mavilla and her mother Sowjanya Seetala as One of Five Grand Prize Winners

Dec 03, 2015, 10:59 ET from The UNCLE BEN’S Brand

RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, Calif., Dec. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, the number-one selling brand of rice in the United States, is thrilled to name Jasmy Mavilla and her mother Sowjanya Seetala of Lawrence, Kansas as one of five grand prize winners of the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest. For the fourth consecutive year, the nationwide contest encouraged children to make healthier, lifelong meal choices by inspiring parents and kids to cook together at an early age. The Ben's Beginners™ movement is designed to empower parents to connect with their children one meal at a time and bring families closer together in the kitchen and around the dinner table.

"Learning to cook at a young age is as essential as learning to read and write," said Lara McCauley, vice president of Corporate Affairs, Mars Food North America, the parent company of the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand. "Our Ben's Beginners™ movement continues to bring families together and this year's winners demonstrate the positive power of the kitchen and dinner table for both the family and the community."

Jasmy Mavilla was one of 25 finalists selected from hundreds of entrants from Kindergarten through eighth grade.  Entrants from across the U.S. submitted videos of themselves and their families preparing a rice-based dish and highlighting the fun and creative way they cook together. Jasmy Mavilla was selected as one of five grand prize winners and awarded with a $30,000 school cafeteria makeover, a $15,000 cash prize for the family and a hometown celebration at Raintree Montessori School with UNCLE BEN'S® Brand representatives, public officials and their community.

"Jasmy has had a passion for cooking ever since she was little and the recipe she created was inspired by the spices and flavors of India, where both her father and I grew up," said Sowjanya Seetala. "All of the vegetables in her recipe come from our garden as Jasmy aims to encourage not only our family but others to make healthy, fresh meals at home."

For more information on the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest, kid-friendly cooking tips and the winning recipes, visit

About the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand
The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, the number one rice brand in America, is proud to offer a wide range of rice dishes with flavors and textures that will help bring more to your meals, both for savory main courses and convenient side dishes. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand offers a wide variety of white, whole grain brown, and flavored rices in cook times ranging from 30 minutes to 90 seconds, as well as rice for food service operations such as restaurants, schools and hospitals. The first mass-produced parboiled rice, UNCLE BEN'S® Brand is the top-selling branded rice in the United States and products can be found in more than 100 countries worldwide. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand products are manufactured by Mars Food North America, part of Mars, Incorporated. For more information, visit