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Mar. 14

Kids and Teens Can “Make Their Mark on Hunger” Through Innovative Service Projects

Participants in Parker's Food Round UP project collected food items for their local food pantry during Make Your Mark on Hunger campaign.

Did you know that 1 in 6 Americans face food scarcity? That includes 15 million kids under the age of 17 who are not getting the food they need.

But kids and teens also have the power to provide solutions to hunger-related issues – which is why generationOn, the youth division of Points of Light, is launching the third annual Make Your Mark on Hunger campaign. Sponsored by C&S Wholesale Grocers, the campaign challenges kids and teens to fight hunger through service projects in their communities.

Make Your Mark on Hunger campaign participants work with the Out of the Garden Project.

To support this work, 22 grants were awarded nationwide to innovative youth-led service projects that are helping to solve the real hunger-related issues our communities are facing. Here are just a few of these incredible grantees:

  • Kate Atschinow of Highland Park, New Jersey, runs a foundation called Cutting Out Hunger. She uses the concept of extreme couponing to purchase food for her local pantry at deeply discounted prices. To date, she's donated more than $40,000 worth of food. She also teaches community members about couponing, helping those in need to become more self-reliant and face food insecurity with more empowerment and dignity.
  • Parker Romney of New Albany, Indiana, is working with 15 youth volunteers to assemble and plant indoor dirt-less aeroponic tower gardens in three local elementary schools, helping to provide fresh produce to children year round. After hosting a food drive and seeing the often low quality of donated food, Parker decided to help kids in need learn about healthy eating. Since children are often out of school when a “traditional” garden is ready for harvesting, this year-round method gives children the opportunity to learn to plant, grow, harvest and eat healthier than they are used to.
  • Lauryn Hinkley of Bismark, North Dakota, runs an annual peanut butter and jelly drive for her program, One Backpack at a Time, to collect food for children who rely on school-provided meals during the week and often go without food on the weekend. Peanut butter and jelly are the most expensive items in the backpack, so without donations from people like Lauryn, organizations would not be able to include them. To date, Lauryn has collected more than 15,000 pounds of peanut butter and jelly to supply meals to children in need.

There are so many ways for kids and teens to make an impact, help the hungry and learn more about the needs in their community.

The Make Your Mark on Hunger campaign runs from March 15 through April 30. Visit www.generationOn.org/hunger to sign up, download materials and share your story for a chance to win grants.

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