A new squad of hunger fighters ages 5 to 25 is honored each year with a $5,000 scholarship for their education as well as a $5,000 grant for the hunger charity of their choice. The Hunger Squad are members of the zero hunger generation leveraging their remarkable and unique powers to combat hunger and positively impact their communities across America. View all scholars.

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is hosting a competition among the scholars for an additional $5,000 grant. Vote for your favorite Hunger Squad member June 12-19 at tinyurl.com/hungersquad.

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Meet the 2017 Hunger Squad

Robert Alex Eimers, age 15, New Haven, MI

When he was nine years old, Robby Eimers visited a Detroit homeless shelter. The experience opened his eyes. He immediately started to get other kids involved and began using his allowance to buy food and necessities for the homeless, whom he prefers to call friends.

In 2015, Robby founded The Eimers Foundation, which helps feed, clothe and give other support to the homeless and hungry. He’s raised $60,000 and has received thousands of donated items and canned goods. He serves about 800 meals each month, and has given out thousands of pounds of food and hygiene products. He also paid off a mortgage on a house that was being foreclosed on so a family would not become homeless and helped friends get off the street and find jobs.

Robby wants to put his grant toward a food truck so he can reach more people. Robby has already helped friends transition out of homelessness, and he wants to create opportunities for even more to do so. He also hopes to plant gardens for his friends to take care of, which can help them understand the importance of eating healthy food and start an art show where they can sell their artwork and earn money.

Sophie Edwards, age 14, Marietta, GA

In kindergarten, Sophie discovered that her friend was in the free school lunch program and learned about the issue of hunger. She became passionate about helping kids who were struggling with food insecurity and began collecting food and fundraising for a local food pantry.

Sophie was only 8 years old when she founded the Square Meal Project. Recruiting other volunteers, she raised $10,000 for local summer lunch programs, provided 1,000 lunches and helped make more than 3,000 lunches.

In 2015, Sophie became a Youth Advocate for No Kid Hungry and has helped raise more than $1 million.

Sophie will use her grant to support No Kid Hungry and the fight against child hunger. She is looking forward to attending food summits and learning more about hunger, sustainable farming and eliminating food waste. She will use her expertise and partnerships with nonprofits to launch her Coins 4 Cans campaign, which educates people that donating money to food pantries is more valuable than donating food and provides conversation starters for participants to explore the topics of compassion, sharing and dignity.

Jack Griffin, age 19, Duluth, GA

Watching a news story about homeless children inspired Jack Griffin to get involved in the fight against hunger. He decided to help kids through a medium they understand: the Internet. He created FoodFinderGA.org, a website that helps Georgians find the closest free food resources like food pantries and co-ops.

In 2016, he launched the FoodFinder app, which uses geolocating technology to direct people in need to more than 3,000 feeding locations in Georgia. The app and website have had more than 15,000 visitors.

In Ann Arbor, Mich., where Jack attends college, he is the Innovation Chair for Maize and Blue Cupboard, a university organization that distributes more than 75,000 pounds of rescued food each year.

He plans to use his grant to drive more downloads of his app through social media and in-school campaigns, as well as to revamp the app and website's technology. Jack hopes to take his app nationwide this year and plans to make it even easier for food banks to keep the app up to date.

Brooke Mackenzie Hinson, age 13, Mt. Olive, NC

When Mackenzie was asked to give a speech to her 4-H club on the issue of hunger in America, she learned that hunger affected people in her own community. Soon after, then-10-year-old Mackenzie asked her mom if she could start her own food pantry.

Today, her Make a Difference pantry distributes several hundred meals to families every week, and her mobile food pantry that brings meals to homebound seniors. She also works with locals schools to stock an emergency food pantry, provide healthy snacks for an after school program and deliver backpacks filled with food to students who need them.

In all, she’s given out over 214,000 pounds of food, provided 37,000 weekend meals for children, and more than 1,900 meals for seniors, raised more than $66,000 for rent, gas and food, and collected more than 15,000 pounds of food.

With her grant, Mackenzie hopes to purchase a mobile kitchen, so she can reach new communities and serve hot meals to those that could not get them otherwise. A mobile kitchen will also enable her to deliver more bags of nonperishable food items and expand her summer feeding program, Kenzie’s Kids Café.

Shiaoching Tse, age 18, Apex, NC

When she was a freshman in high school, Shiaoching learned that 40 percent of her classmates were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. She saw an opportunity for change.

She started The Food Ark (TFA), a school club that addresses the issues of food insecurity. The club, which strives to create a more sustainable food system, began with an on-campus garden and soon expanded to a school food pantry. 

The club has now grown into a nonprofit organization with clubs in six North Carolina schools. Each tackles food insecurity through gardens, food pantries and outreach. TFA has reached more than 400 students raised more than $9,000, served more than 1,000 meals, distributed more than 2,500 pounds of food and started six school gardens. Furthermore, she’s doing independent research to develop formulas for optimizing crop growth in indoor farming environments.

Her grant money is helping to fund school garden renovations for Food Ark chapters so that they can produce more food, and fund two middle school food pantries.

Regional Honorees 

  • Kira Andreucci, age 16, Fitchburg, MA
  • David Butter, age 21, Miami, FL
  • Bradley Ferguson, age 16, Northfield, NJ
  • Jonathan Fix, age 23, Bethesda, MD
  • Sofia Gardenswartz, age 16, La Mesa, CA
  • Katherine Goodman, age 16, Ashland, VA
  • Wahibah Hannan, age 17, Houston, TX
  • Lauryn Hinckley, age 17, Bismarck, ND
  • Jacob Mansbach, age 13, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Shrikant Mishra, age 17, Herndon, VA
  • Haley Moraniec, age 23, Redford, MI
  • Cory Nichols, age 16, Oceanside, NY
  • Varshini Odayar, age 15, Mason, OH
  • M'Lea Scott, age 18, Memphis, TN
  • Lauren Seroyer, age 17, Lawrenceville, GA
  • Kelsea Suarez, age 21, New York, NY
  • Connor VanMeter, age 20, Lexington, KY
  • Clare VanSpeybroeck, age 17, Rock Island, IL
  • William Winslow, age 11, Raleigh, NC

By leveraging your unique powers to combat hunger in your community, you could be part of the next Hunger Squad. The application period opens October 5. Email us if you would like to receive messages regarding scholarship information and Stop Hunger.