September 27, 2017
Keene, NH—In honor of National Hunger Action month, FoodCorps and C&S Wholesale Grocers are announcing the winner and runners-up of an essay contest aimed at raising awareness of hunger in schools. The Victory Growers Award contest, open to all 225 FoodCorps service members, prompted writers to share stories of childhood hunger at their service sites and persuade readers to take action. C&S is proud to award the winner’s school with $5,000 toward food education programs. The schools of the two runners-up will each receive $1,000.
Lauren Burke’s winning essay tells the story of hunger on a Hopi reservation in Arizona, where she serves as a FoodCorps service member. Child hunger and food insecurity rates are up to twice as high on Native American reservations than they are in the rest of the country, and Burke argues for a culturally inclusive approach to nutrition education as a solution to hunger. “[Nutrition education programs] must strive not only to serve native communities, but to allow those communities to construct the programming of the future,” writes Burke.
Two runners-up were named. Mary Grace Stoneking, serving in Van Buren, AR, wrote an essay describing the impact of chronic hunger on a child’s education and encourages readers to invest in food education programs. Carly Wyman, serving in Pahoa, HI, submitted an essay discussing the unique challenges of Hawai’i’s predominantly imported food system and argues that hands-on food education is an effective way to address childhood hunger. The essays and photos of the award winners are available at foodcorps.org/stories.
FoodCorps is a national service program that connects kids to healthy food in schools. Its team of AmeriCorps leaders serves in high-need schools to make sure students learn what healthy food is, fall in love with it, and eat it every day. C&S Wholesale Grocers has supported FoodCorps since 2014. In addition to the Victory Grower's Award, C&S connects FoodCorps to education resources and has partnered with FoodCorps to grow knowledge of healthy food for students by placing service members near its warehouse locations.