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Jul 15, 2014

St. Francis Students Donate $5,000 Lead2Feed Award to Fair Haven Food Pantry

St. Francis Episcopal Day School eighth graders Kiley Jones and Katherine Montgomery present a check to Barbara McDonald (far right), of the
Fair Haven United Methodist Church Food Pantry, on June 26.

St. Francis Episcopal Day School eighth graders are at it again. Following on the heels of last year’s national grand-prize award in the inaugural Lead2Feed World Hunger Leadership Challenge, this year’s team earned a $5,000 Lead2Feed runner-up award and presented it to the Fair Haven United Methodist Church Food Pantry, which has served Houston’s Spring Branch and Memorial communities for nearly 40 years.


The 2014 St. Francis team, composed of students Kiley Jones, Katherine Montgomery, Mitchell Roberts, Morgan Sumicek, and James Talbott, donated the award check to Barbara McDonald, Fair Haven Food Pantry director, on June 26. The gift will enable the pantry to purchase a four- to five-month supply of food for the approximately 150 families it serves monthly. The organization also provides food kits to the homeless and adult victims of abuse. McDonald pointed out that the gift was particularly timely since donations generally drop in the summer months. St. Francis faculty sponsor Debbie Harris and Head of Middle School Steve Lovejoy joined Jones and Montgomery for the check presentation. 


The Lead2Feed Challenge, initiated by the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation and the Lift a Life Foundation, with assistance from the Yum! Brands Foundation, encourages middle and high school students to develop leadership skills by completing a service-learning project that solves hunger issues. This year’s St. Francis team packed food bags for the Lord of the Streets mission program; participated in three school-wide food drives that garnered 4,000+ cans of food for Fair Haven; joined fellow eighth graders in creating 65 ceramic bowls for the Empty Bowls Project, which sold the bowls to benefit the Houston Food Bank; and educated St. Francis Middle School students on the global poverty crisis.


More than 475,000 students from across the nation participated in the Lead2Feed World Hunger Leadership Challenge in its first two years. The teacher-led educational program combines a standards-based curriculum on the topic of leadership along with the challenge of solving world hunger through service-learning projects conducted by student teams. Yum! Brands Foundation awarded a $25,000 grand-prize check to last year’s winning St. Francis student team, which they presented to Kids’ Meals, Texas’s only meals-on-wheels service for children who live in poverty. This year, the foundation expanded its program to include five grand-prize winners, each of whom will receive $25,000 for their chosen U.S. public charity engaged in hunger relief.


“It’s very inspiring how Lead2Feed has encouraged nearly half a million students over the past two years to find creative ways to fight hunger in their local communities and around the globe,” said David Novak, chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, Inc. “It is exciting to watch Lead2Feed develop the next generation of leaders who are passionate about solving hunger. I truly believe that by teaching people how to lead the right way, we can make the world a better place together.”