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Youth-Led Events Target Childhood Hunger

SA YOUTH RECEIVES YSA’s SODEXO YOUTH GRANT: Youth-Led Events Target Childhood Hunger During November’s  National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Patty Cantu (left) and Jennifer Munoz created hunger kits for community members in need of food.

SA Youth was awarded a $500 Youth Grant from YSA (Youth Service America) and the Sodexo Foundation, which supports youth-led service initiatives addressing childhood hunger.

One of 25 grants awarded nationwide, SA Youth’s project “SA Kids Against Hunger Garden,” created by college freshman Jennifer Munoz, will help teach children and young adults in SA Youth programs, as well as local community members how to plant and grow their own food to help combat hunger. In addition, the program will create “SA Kids Against Hunger Kits,” which will be given to families at local community centers and young adults in the YouthBuild Program in need of food.

Sodexo Youth Grant winners will engage at least 20 youth volunteers in learning about and addressing childhood hunger in local communities. These service projects will be held during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Nov. 15-21, 2011.

“It is amazing to see projects like this come to life and be recognized in such a great way,” Erin Figueroa, chief development officer for SA Youth, said. “Our mission is to help children in need become more successful and self-sufficient, and this program does just that.”

West Side residents are welcome to pick vegetables to take home and use in their daily meals as part of the "SA Kids Against Hunger" project.

Unique to YSA Grants dealing with childhood hunger, Sodexo Youth Grants directly call upon youth, ages 5 to 25, to implement a project as opposed to teachers, community organizers or faith-based leaders.

“With more than 16 million children in the U.S. enduring daily uncertainty about the source of their next meal, it will take a creative intergenerational approach to rid our nation of childhood hunger,” said Robert A. Stern, president, Sodexo Foundation. “The Sodexo Foundation is proud to partner with YSA to mobilize youth, which will give a powerful boost to our efforts to end childhood hunger.”

For more information about the SA Kids Against Hunger Garden, visit www.sanantonioyouth.org. For more information about Youth Service America and its grant opportunities, visit www.YSA.org.

Youth Service America (YSA) improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. Founded in 1986, YSA supports a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement. The impact of YSA’s work through service and service-learning is measured in student achievement, workplace readiness, and healthy communities. For more information, visit www.YSA.org.

Sodexo, Inc. in North America (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 $15 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.

About Rudy Arispe

I'm a storyteller with 25 years experience in print journalism. I have written news and features stories for the San Antonio Express-News, La Prensa, UTSA's campus publications, University of the Incarnate Word's alumni magazine, and many others.

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