For so many reasons 2012 has been AMAZING. Participating as an Olympic torch bearer was certainly among my top highlights, but another had to do with my work to fight hunger. It’s a cause that has been important to me even before creating my non-profit, Peyton’s Promise, which started as a simple food drive.
Thanks to Sodexo Foundation, I had the honor of being named a 2012 Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship recipient this summer. I was honored and humbled to be put in the same category as so many other amazing youth volunteers. I loved hearing their stories and taking tips and ideas from them on how their organizations have become successful.
Like me, they believe that the importance of youth involvement in fighting hunger is HUGE. When I began my organization at 8 years old, many people did not think it could accomplish as much as it did – not even me! Anyone of any age can truly make a difference. My little food drive has since grown into an incredible food distribution network that provides food supplies to pantries that reach 5,000 families each month!
The Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship has also made a huge impact in my local community. The $5,000 grant helped Covenant Community Presbyterian Church’s Food Pantry provide for the growing number of families that they serve. Just during this summer, the food pantry’s attendance went from 80 families per month to 300 families per month. The food pantry remained stocked throughout the summer thanks to this grant and its freezer has also been filled with frozen meat thanks to Sodexo Foundation.
If you are a student working to fight hunger, especially childhood hunger, I encourage you to apply for the Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship. It was an experience of a lifetime to be invited to Washington, D.C. where I received $5,000 for my education and another $5,000 grant for my local food pantry. Our community efforts to fight hunger would not be where they are today without the help of Sodexo Foundation and the Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship.
Ending hunger might seem like an Olympic feat, but as more youth volunteers take up the torch, we are bound to meet the challenge.
Peyton Medick (9th Grade) is the founder of Peyton’s Promise and a 2012 Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship recipient. Student volunteers fighting hunger can apply for the 2013 scholarship by visiting www.sodexofoundation.org.