Global Youth Service Day – April 20-22, 2018 – is a time for kids to find their voice, take action, and make an impact on issues they care about. Every year, hunger is the issue that more youth take on than any other. It’s clear that they see this issue deeply affecting their peers and sometimes, their own families. Last year, one Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Youth Grant applicant told us:
“This issue is important to me because I am the face of hunger at our school. You would not know it to look at me, but there is no food in my home that does not come from school toward the end of the month. I do everything I can to hide this fact from my friends. I bring home meals from school to eat later, and feel shame that my family has nothing. The last two weeks of the month my family can be found at the food banks asking for help and sometimes there is no help to be had. My younger siblings struggle with their basic needs, so they cannot adequately focus on their academics. I know I can make a change for families like mine, and I would like an opportunity to do so.”
One in six children in America are at risk of hunger like this family. This is a problem that can be solved, and we know that kids are the best problem solvers. Suggested GYSD project ideas include:
- Organizing food drive(s) or fundraiser(s)
- Growing healthy food/gardening at your school or in your community
- Starting or supporting a backpack feeding program
- Organizing a one-time project that increases ongoing capacity at a food bank, shelter, or community kitchen
- Teaching about healthy eating on a budget
- Helping families access SNAP benefits, free or reduced lunch, and/or summer meal programs.
- Recovering surplus food
- Organizing an advocacy and/or awareness campaign
YSA and Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation are looking for innovative projects led by young people using the ideas above to help end childhood hunger in their communities. 125 $400 grants are available for youth leaders ages 5-25 across the U.S. to turn these ideas into action and make an impact on the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) and beyond. $400 Summer 2018 Sustainability Grants will also be awarded to up to 25 youth grantees to sustain and continue their GYSD projects.
The deadline to apply is next Monday, February 12, so start your application today at www.YSA.org/SodexoYouth