CHICAGO, Dec. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The UNCLE BEN'S® brand is thrilled to announce the five grand-prize winners of the 2018 BEN'S BEGINNERS™ Cooking Contest. This fall, families across the country submitted photos showcasing a rice-based dish they prepared using UNCLE BEN'S® rice for a chance to win. The five winning submissions were chosen based on creativity, presentation, appetite appeal and how well they demonstrated the spirit of the UNCLE BEN'S® mission of cooking together as a family.
The following five grand prize winners of the BEN'S BEGINNERS™ Cooking Contest will each receive $15,000 for their family and $30,000 for their local school, identified below:
- Addison Lee and family, benefiting Huntersville Elementary in Huntersville, North Carolina
- Glenn Ortega-Hackett and family, benefiting Witter Ranch Elementary in Sacramento, California
- Kali Yazel and family, benefiting LaSalle Intermediate Academy in South Bend, Indiana
- Owen Coyne and family, benefiting West Hanover Elementary in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- Sam Thyng and family, benefiting Joe Dan Mills Elementary in Austin, Texas
The BEN'S BEGINNERS™ Cooking Contest was created in 2012 based on UNCLE BEN'S® belief that cooking is an essential life skill that is as important as reading and writing. Over the past seven years, the program has motivated thousands of families to cook together and has awarded more than $1,000,000 to individuals and schools to help foster healthier communities.
"We know there is a desire for families to cook and eat together but it can be challenging to prioritize," said Ashley Findlay, Senior Brand Manager, UNCLE BEN'S®. "We want to make it as easy as possible to make this happen because we know the benefits are many, including developing healthier eating habits and creating life-long memories. We love seeing so many families across the country bring this to life throughout the BEN'S BEGINNERS™ program."
In early December, UNCLE BEN'S® kicked off surprise hometown celebrations across the country to inform the five winning families that they would be taking home thousands of dollars thanks to their participation in the BEN'S BEGINNERS™ Cooking Contest. Representatives from UNCLE BEN'S® and local supporters came together at winning schools to celebrate the donations with an official check presentation ceremony.
One of the winning families shared their reaction to being grand prize winners, "We were overjoyed when we found out our entry was chosen as a winner," said Nichole Lee, mother of winner Addison Lee. "We try to make everything fun in learning and simply love being together as a family. We appreciate that UNCLE BEN'S® supports that."
"The five winners this year really exemplified the purpose of our brand and program. As a family, they had fun by creating clever, delicious and nutritious rice-based recipes using our 90 second READY RICE® – like Creepy Calzones with Squirmy, Wormy Rice," said Findlay.
For more information on the BEN'S BEGINNERS™ Cooking Contest, kid-friendly cooking tips and the winning recipes, visit beginners.unclebens.com.
About the UNCLE BEN'S Brand
The UNCLE BEN'S Brand, the number one rice brand in the world, 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 90 seconds to 30 minutes, as well as rice for food service operations such as restaurants, schools and hospitals. The first mass-produced parboiled rice, UNCLE BEN'S Brand products can be found around the world. The UNCLE BEN'S Brand products are manufactured by Mars Food, part of Mars, Incorporated. For more information, visit www.unclebens.com.
About Mars Food
Mars Food is a fast-growing dinnertime food business, making tastier, healthier, easier meals that bring the world to the dinner table. Headquartered in London, Mars Food's portfolio of leading brands includes: UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, SEEDS OF CHANGE®, MASTERFOODS®, MIRACOLI®, TASTY BITE®, SUZI WAN®, EBLY®, ROYCO®, KAN TONG®, ABU SIOUF®, RARIS®, and PAMESELLO®. Our purpose – Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow. – drives our business to be a leader in health & wellbeing and sustainability. Mars Food is a segment of Mars, Incorporated.
SOURCE UNCLE BEN’S® Brand