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May 30, 2015

St. Francis Students Raise Funds for Hunger, Then Pay it Forward

HOUSTON--For the third year running, a team of St. Francis eighth-grade students has earned a Lead2Feed World Hunger Leadership Challenge award for its efforts in finding real-world solutions to global hunger. The “Lady Wolves Howl Out Hunger” team won a $5,000 third-place prize in the Lead2Feed Challenge, which encourages middle and high school students to develop leadership skills by completing a service-learning project that solves hunger issues.


The all-girl team decided to donate the award check to Kids’ Meals, a local nonprofit that serves healthy lunches to preschool-age children weekly throughout the year. In 2013, a St. Francis team earned the $25,000 national grand-prize award in the inaugural Lead2Feed Challenge, also donating the money to Kids’ Meals, while last year’s team gave its $5,000 runner-up award to the Fair Haven United Methodist Church Food Pantry.


With a goal of “making our peers aware of hunger and food insecurity in our own community,” this year’s student team served meals at a local homeless shelter and recruited fellow eighth graders in bagging 1,700 bags of rice at the Houston Food Bank and assembling 800 sack lunches for Kids’ Meals. They also jumped on board Walmart’s “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” social media initiative, posting to Twitter and Instagram to raise $500 for Feeding America in just two days. Finally, one team member made her Lenten project a 30-hour hunger fast—raising $630 in pledges to feed a hungry child.


The Lady Wolves team comprises Bryce Bagwell, Sydney Baldridge, Lizzie Barringer, Samantha Bates, Lauren Blakley, Madeleine Butcher, Sidney Cabaud, Sarah Carson, Ashley Chandler, Ashley Dalton, Kennedy Davis, Kathryn Dull, Gabriela Escalona, and Elliott Jones, as well as faculty sponsor Debbie Harris.


Lead2Feed was developed by the USA Today Charitable Foundation, with support from Lift a Life Foundation and Yum! Brands Foundation. Since its inception in 2012, nearly a million students in 3,500 schools and clubs participating across all 50 states have donated more than 22,000 volunteer hours and one million meals to hungry families. 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.


About St. Francis Episcopal Day School:

For more than 60 years, St. Francis Episcopal Day School has nurtured children ranging in age from preschool to eighth grade in an environment that emphasizes both scholastic excellence and emotional growth. The school combines rigorous academics and thoughtful religious instruction with competitive athletics, superb fine arts, advanced technological instruction, and compassionate service programs to create a truly inspired education.