2018 STEPHEN J. BRADY STOP HUNGER SCHOLARS

The Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarship program recognizes student innovation and youth led solutions to fight hunger in America.  These young people are creating awareness and mobilizing peers in their communities to be catalysts for change. The scholarship awardees comprise a wide variety of students, ages 5 to 25, who are recognized at the national and regional level and hail from across the country. Since the program’s inception in 2007, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has awarded close to $700,000 in grants and scholarships. View all scholars.

2018 Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholars

Brady Scholar Video: Zero Hunger. Together It's Possible. 

Addy Battel, age 15, Cass City, MI

“We may not have jobs or be able to drive, but we’re farm kids and we know how to raise meat.” That’s what Addy Battel told three of her friends in 2014 to convince them to apply for a Future Farmers of America grant to fight hunger in their community. They received the grant and, working together, doubled the amount of money raised for their project, “Meating” the Need of Our Village.

Since then, Addy and her friends have donated 7,380 pounds of meat (worth over $22,000) and 554 gallons of milk to their local food pantry. Because of their efforts, the food pantry receives quality proteins and hasn’t had to purchase any meat for the past three years.

Addy’s passion is working with animals to help end hunger, and she sees that same passion for helping others among her peers. She’s intentional about inviting others to join her project, and has involved over 100 kids in fundraising, raising animals, and distributing meat and milk.

Addy believes we can end chronic hunger in the U.S. if we spark interest among young people and invest in their ideas. She wants not only to increase awareness of the problem, but also make sure people know it’s a problem we can solve. Addy invites everyone – youth and adults – to find their passion and the skills they can contribute and get involved.

Addy is a 10th grader at Cass City Junior/Senior High School. The $5,000 grant from Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation will benefit the 4-H Club in Ubly, Mich.

 

Bradley Ferguson, age 17, Northfield, NJ

Some kids might be discouraged when told over and over that they are “too young to volunteer” for the nonprofits in their community, but not Bradley Ferguson. Instead, as a 7th grader he decided to start his own organization called Post Crashers that addresses food security, nutrition and agriculture by creating a very large, sustainable victory garden at the community’s American Legion Post 295.

In its first year, the group held nine “post crashes” to renovate the Post, including siding, floors, ceilings, bathrooms, kitchen, windows, fence, deck, shed, greenhouse and a victory garden. During the second year, they held twelve crashes to continue the renovation and double the size of the garden. The third year, they also started hosting bi-monthly dinners for homeless veterans. This year they held 17 crashes so far, and they continue making lunches and dinners for homeless veterans and growing produce for those in need. Prior to the crashes, the Post was unusable, dilapidated space. Today, the Post serves as a meeting place for veterans and as a community center, a place where hundreds of students have helped close to 10,000 people in need.

But Bradley didn’t stop there. In August of 2017, he founded Mustangs Against Hunger at Mainland Regional High School where he is in 11th grade. The student club has since built a food pantry at the school and collects and distributes non-perishable food weekly to families in need.  In the club’s first year, they have helped 500 families by distributing 10,000 pounds of food.

Bradley’s community has been hit hard by casino closings in nearby Atlantic City. With many people in Northfield now out of work, hunger, especially among children, has increased. Yet Bradley is optimistic that we can end chronic hunger if we work together: “We can’t wait for someone else to solve the problem. No more sitting on the sidelines. We all have a responsibility and role to play in ending hunger.”

The $5,000 grant from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation will benefit Mainland Regional High School’s Mustangs Against Hunger Club  in Linwood, N.J.

 

Addison McKenna, age 11, Austin, TX

Addison McKenna is not your typical sixth grader. She took typical pre-teen problems – dislike of vegetables and a bit of jealousy for her older brother – and created a solution to hunger in her community. Inspired by her older brother’s efforts to address hunger with community vegetable gardens, Addison started Frutas Frescas Orchards to involve students, parents, teachers, Cub Scouts and community members in planting fruit trees that offer a 30-year yield of nutritious food for those in need.

In three years, Addison has installed 35 fruit trees, 55 berry bushes and over 80 strawberry bare root plants. These trees and plants are still young, but already produce enough fresh fruit at five school sites to serve 56 families and provide the local food pantry with 144 pounds of fresh fruit last summer.

Addison also volunteers with her older brother’s projects to end hunger, including Katie’s Krops dinners. She came up with the idea to incorporate food recovery to help feed people and keep food out of landfills. She has helped plan the menu, collect food items, cook and serve meals at four community dinners.

Learning to live with a disability taught Addison empathy for others who face challenges. It also gives her confidence that kids – with support – can solve any problem they put their minds to. Addison believes we can end long-term hunger in the U.S. one fruit tree and berry bush at a time. She encourages everyone to support kids’ ideas – and to help dig holes for planting fruit trees in Texas.

The $5,000 grant from Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation will benefit Katie’s Krops  in Summerville, S.C.

 

Lauren Seroyer, age 18, Lawrenceville, GA

We don’t always know who is struggling. Hungry people look like us, sit next to us in class, ride the same bus. “People go through a lot to hide that they’re in need. We don’t want to be judged by others, especially as teenagers.” That’s why Lauren believes compassion is so important. After learning that some of her classmates didn’t have enough to eat, Lauren started CARE Closet, an in-school, confidential food pantry open to any students who need additional food.

Since 2016, CARE Closet has distributed over 40,000 pounds of food, expanded into five states, raised over $71,000, and formed partnerships with several major Fortune 500 companies.  Through recent partnerships with two technology companies, CARE Closet now has a smartphone app to monitor the inventory and record what needs to be replenished.

Lauren believes we can end chronic hunger in the U.S. if we start with compassion, join others to commit to a common goal and put all our energy behind it. Lauren wants others to know there are lots of ways to help others – not just by giving money, but also by giving time. She encourages everyone to take time to listen and show interest in others.

The $5,000 grant from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation will benefit CARE Closet, in Suwanee, Ga.

 

Kelsea Suarez, age 22, New York, N.Y.

 “You’re going to fall down, but no matter what you're going to get back up.”  Kelsea learned that lesson as a competitive ice skater and applies it to challenges she faces today as leader in the fight to end hunger.

Kelsea and two other New York University students co-founded Transfernation in 2014 after witnessing the significant amount of food thrown away every day on campus, while nearly 1.3 million people go hungry in New York City. She and her team organized volunteers to pick up food from the university’s cafeterias and nearby businesses and drop it off to local soup kitchens from the Lower East Side all the way to Harlem.

Since 2014, Transfernation has donated 220,000 pounds of rescued food, the equivalent of approximately 183,333 meals, to 10 soup kitchens in Manhattan and partnered with over 60 corporations to donate rescued food to those in need. They have recruited 210 volunteers and created an app to facilitate location and timing accuracy with pick up operations and streamline volunteer engagement. 

Kelsea believes food sustainability is how we achieve zero hunger in the U.S. She thinks the solution will come from a little creativity and a lot of commitment. We might fall down along the way, but we’re going to get right back up.

The $5,000 grant from Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation will benefit Grace United Methodist Church meals program in New York City.

 

Regional Honorees 

  • Dean Ewin, age 18, Boonville, IN
  • Abbi Fitzpatrick, age 18, Cut Bank, MT
  • Ellie Graham, age 20, Portland, OR
  • Lauryn Hinckley, age 18, Bismarck, ND
  • Zachary Karpovich, age 18, Rye, NY
  • Evan Knoll, age 13, Fargo, ND
  • Aaron Kredi, age 17, Miami, FL
  • Korbin Leddy, age 14, Stockholm, SD
  • Jacob Mansbach, age 14, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Baylee McGinnis, age 18, Centre, AL
  • Kaden Newton, age 8, Rockwall, TX
  • Kalen Patel, age 17, Aliso Viejo, CA
  • Matthew Reel, age 11, Spring, TX
  • Roark Sizemore, age 20, Morgantown, WV
  • Emma Skantze, age 18, Land O Lakes, FL
  • Tiana Smart, age 18, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Casey Sokolovic, age 20, Winterville, NC
  • Kai Suematsu, age 18, Denver, CO
  • Anna Sun, age 16, Canton, MI
  • Clare VanSpeybroeck, age 18, Rock Island, IL

The Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarship application period opens October 5. Email us if you would like to receive messages regarding scholarship information and Stop Hunger.