GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning November 10-18, National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, thousands of young people across the nation will join in the fight against childhood hunger, leading long-term service and service-learning projects supported by more than $120,000 in grants from Sodexo Foundation and YSA (Youth Service America).
Working through their schools and community organizations, youth will educate and mobilize their peers and community around the issue of childhood hunger, expanding the pool of people actively searching for solutions to the problem, which affects 1 in 5 American children. Projects continue through Global Youth Service Day, April 26-28, 2013.
Projects beginning next week include:
- 7th-graders of New Vision Middle School in San Bernardino, California— Stephen Dowding's 7th-grade social studies class will examine local food-support systems and identify systemic gaps and shortcomings. Students will design and implement an eight-month campaign to address the issues they find. Planned activities include volunteering at local food banks, organizing a community-wide food drive, and using new media to inform targeted audiences about the risks of childhood hunger.
- 3rd-graders of Elsa England Elementary School in Austin, Texas—Rachael Brunson's language arts class will expand their school's backpack food program as they identify facts and myths about childhood hunger in Austin. Through collaboration with other local schools, the third-graders are planning events to raise community awareness, including a 5k race and a food drive.
- Inter-Faith Ministries (IFM) in Wichita, Kansas—Teaming up with several organizations, the IFM teens will engage businesses and other organizations in collection drives for food, coats, and blankets, and recruit volunteers as a way to increase local community impact. IFM has committed to rallying at least 10 local organizations and engaging 600 young people to participate in their campaign, building an on-the-ground coalition of young people dedicated to addressing childhood hunger.
Twenty-eight school and community-based projects were funded through a competitive process that emphasized the mobilization of youth volunteers and the community served, as well as each project's potential to directly and measurably address the issue of childhood hunger.
Sodexo Foundation and YSA directly call upon youth, ages 5-25, to make a tangible and measurable impact on the issue of childhood hunger, educate their peers and the larger community about the problem and secure commitments from others to implementing solutions. Now in its third year, the partnership has engaged an estimated 50,000 young people in the fight against childhood hunger and benefitted approximately 1 million community members.
"Mobilizing youth in the fight against childhood hunger in the U.S. is a winning strategy, because no one sees the injustice of a child going hungry more clearly than another child," said Robert A. Stern, chair, Sodexo Foundation. "These kids will carry experiences into adulthood that will make them some of the most influential change agents in a generation."
YSA Grants are available throughout the year for youth-led service. YSA is currently accepting applications for Sodexo Youth Grants, www.YSA.org/grants. In addition young people can apply now through December 5, 2012, for the Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarships that recognize young people doing longer term, ongoing work to end hunger and/or raise awareness. Winners receive a $5,000 scholarship and a matching $5,000 grant for their anti-hunger charity of choice. Learn more and apply at www.SodexoFoundation.org.
Celebrating 25 years of youth changing the world, YSA (Youth Service America) improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5 to 25, serving in substantive roles. Through campaigns, grant programs, resource development and training opportunities, YSA promotes a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership and achievement. As a campaign of YSA and the largest service event in the world, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) celebrates and mobilizes the millions of children and youth who improve their communities each day of the year through service. GYSD 2013 will be held April 26-28 in more than 100 countries on six continents. For more information, visit www.YSA.org and www.GYSD.org.
Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Motivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $17 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.
Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions
Quality of Life plays an important role in the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. Based on this conviction, Sodexo acts as a partner for companies and institutions that place a premium on performance and employee well-being, as it has since Pierre Bellon founded the company in 1966. Sharing the same passion for service, Sodexo's 413,000 employees in 80 countries design, manage and deliver an unrivaled array of Quality of Life Services. Sodexo has created a new form of service business that contributes to the fulfillment of its employees and the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries in which it operates.
SOURCE Sodexo, Inc.