WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2011 – Today, USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon invited children across America to show the country what they or their peers are doing to help end childhood hunger in their school or community by entering the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Ending Childhood Hunger Video Contest.
FNS is looking for original student videos of two minutes or less that show creative ways they or their peers are tackling the problem of childhood hunger or an innovative idea they have that would contribute to the goal of ending childhood hunger in America. The winning videos will be showcased online and will serve to inspire students across the country to take action on the issue of childhood hunger.
“If we want to build our nation for the future then we need to make sure our kids are healthy and strong today,” said Concannon. “We can start by ending childhood hunger and working to make sure all of our kids have the nutrition they need. We are excited to learn what valuable ideas kids across America have to contribute to addressing this need that touches the nation’s most important resource – our children.”
USDA’s most recent data shows that while in most households, children were protected from substantial reductions in food intake, children experienced very low food security in about 386,000 households (1 percent of households with children) in 2010. In these households, one or more children do not get enough to eat – they had to cut the size of their meals, skip meals, or even go whole days without food at some time during the year.
To tackle this challenge, last year FNS launched the Ending Childhood Hunger initiative, which included a Stakeholder Guide of ideas about what people can do locally to reduce hunger, an online commitment drive encouraging people to commit to taking a specific action to reduce hunger locally, and a volunteer portal on serve.gov/endhunger.
The video contest launched today as part of Hunger Action Month, is yet another way for communities to engage in the issue and inspire others around the country to act. The contest is open to students from first through twelfth grade. FNS judges will determine the top 12 finalists in three categories: elementary, middle/junior high, and high schools. The public will vote on the finalists to determine the top two winners in each category. Winners will be promoted through various FNS channels including the FNS website, the USDA blog, local and national press releases, Facebook, Twitter, a national webinar, and the FNS Outreach Coalition annual meeting. Videos must be two minutes or less and meet other contest criteria, and be submitted no later than Oct. 21, 2011. For additional information and details on contest rules, please visit the contest webpage at http://endhunger.challenge.gov.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch Program; the School Breakfast Program; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children; and the Summer Food Service Program. Taken together, these programs comprise America’s nutrition safety net.