NEW YORK, NY — SEPTEMBER 3, 2019 — Today, C&S Wholesale Grocers, the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S., joins FoodCorps, a national nonprofit that connects kids to healthy food in schools, to commemorate National Hunger Action Month by announcing the winner and runners-up of the sixth annual Victory Growers essay contest. The essay contest seeks to raise awareness of hunger in schools and communities across the country. All FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members were invited to submit an essay on the theme of hunger and food insecurity.
The winner of this year’s essay contest is Casey Haggerty, a FoodCorps AmeriCorps service member who served in Petoskey, Michigan during the 2018-2019 academic year and is serving there for a second year. Runners-up are Elayna Shapiro, who is serving a second year in Polson, Montana, and Shannon Newerth, who served in Van Buren, Arkansas.
Casey Haggerty’s winning essay challenges readers to rethink the implications of a beloved childhood tradition: snow days. When her schools experienced a staggering 11 snow days in one year, she realized many of her students spent 11 extra days hungry. “For every snow day,” she writes, “any residual, childhood excitement I felt at the prospect of a day off was tempered by a twisting feeling in my gut for the kids who would not get a decent meal that day.”
In her essay, runner-up Elayna Shapiro reflects on the moment a student confided his fears about not having enough money to buy food at home. As a FoodCorps service member, she writes, she sought to make lessons accessible for students of all economic backgrounds, but many still didn’t have the support they needed. “To fully address hunger in schools, we need resources all students can utilize,” Elayna writes.
Runner-up Shannon Newerth explores the racial and socioeconomic discrimination that manifests as food insecurity for many of her students. As a service member, she writes, “I am given the unique opportunity to meet students in the classroom to unpack and address hunger in a way that empowers them to make positive choices with food they have access to.”
FoodCorps is a national service program that teaches children about healthy eating through three main areas of service: hands-on learning, healthy school meals, and a schoolwide culture of health. With 250 AmeriCorps leaders serving in over 300 schools in communities across the continental United States and Hawaiʻi, FoodCorps service members partner with schools to create nourishing environments for all students. Since 2014, C&S Wholesale Grocers has partnered with FoodCorps to support its hunger prevention and food access work with schools in under-resourced communities.
About C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc.
C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. is the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S. and the industry leader in supply chain innovation. Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, C&S now services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 7,700 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases, and institutions with over 137,000 different products. We are an engaged corporate citizen, supporting causes that positively impact our communities. To learn more, please visit www.cswg.com.
Together with communities, FoodCorps connects kids to healthy food in school so that every child—regardless of race, place, or class—gets the nourishment they need to thrive. Our AmeriCorps leaders transform schools into places where all students learn what healthy food is, care where it comes from, and eat it every day. Building on this foundation of direct impact, FoodCorps develops leaders, forges networks, and pursues policy reforms that in time have the potential to improve all of our nation’s 100,000 schools. To learn more about FoodCorps’ work in schools across the country, please visit http://www.foodcorps.org.