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Student-teacher team at Chicora uses Sodexo grant to address food insecurity

Megan Godinez Santeliz, a second grader at Chicora Elementary School, and her English language teacher, Kristen Singleton, recently earned a Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Youth Grant through Youth Service America (YSA). The $500 grant supported a community service project led by Godinez Santeliz that addressed childhood hunger.


Last weekend, Godinez Santeliz and Singleton gathered with students and their parents at Fresh Future Farm, a local community garden, to teach families how to grow vegetables in containers and provided them information about food pantries in the area.


“I don’t want my friends to ever be hungry,” explained Godinez Santeliz.

“I want to help teach them to grow food just in case they ever need it.”


Godinez Santeliz is one of 106 young leaders across the country awarded grants to organize projects to help end childhood hunger. Grantees educate and mobilize their peers around the issue to help end childhood hunger through awareness, service, advocacy, and philanthropic activities. They joined millions of other young people worldwide in recognition of Global Youth Service Day, April 23-25, 2021. Celebrating 33 years of youth changing the world, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is the largest youth service and civic action event globally.


“The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is committed to identifying, investing in, and scaling innovative, youth-designed and youth-led solutions to childhood hunger,” explained Joan Rector McGlockton, Chairperson, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation and Associate General Counsel, Corporate Affairs & Litigation.

 Planting containers

According to Sodexo, in 2019, 34 million people lived in poverty in America. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, one in 6 people (more than 50 million people), including one in four children (approximately 17 million children) in the United States, are experiencing food insecurity in 2021.

“I am humbled by the quality and volume of applications we receive each year,” said Roxanne Moore, Executive Director, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. “Helping and supporting these youth grantees - ordinary people that make themselves extraordinary - brings the Stop Hunger Foundation closer to its objective of working toward zero hunger in the U.S. By investing in their efforts on GYSD, we hope to ignite the passion in other young people to join the fight against child hunger.”

 Lesly planting food

For more information, please contact Kristen Singleton at