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Fighting childhood hunger

April 9, 2019 GMT

KENOVA — Patrick Brown, a sophomore from Spring Valley High School has been awarded a Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Youth Grant through Youth Service America (YSA).

The grant will support Browns initiative with the Kenova United Methodist Youth in leading a community service project that addresses the issue of childhood hunger. Brown and his youth members along with Fox Hebaberlin created and built the Focus 4:12 Blessing Box located on the grass lot facing Chestnut Street in Kenova.

The blessing box’s slogan is “Take what you need, bring what you can, above all be blessed.” The box serves as a community pantry where individuals can get what they need and donate what they can at any given time.

One in six children in America are at risk of hunger. This is a problem that can be solved, and young people are part of the solution.

Brown and his youth members decided to conduct a youth lead service that will take place Saturday, April 27, at 3 p.m. at Kenova United Methodist Church located at 50315th St. in Kenova.

The service will be held outside on their grass lot. There will be music and a youth lead worship service to give an overview of the project. The youth also encourage other youth and adults to attend.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food donation if they can, but it’s not required. The donations will be given to the youth’s blessing box located on the church property.

Brown is an active leader in the Focus 4:12 youth group located at the church, and he encourages young people to attend youth services on Wednesdays from 5:45-7:30 p.m, and Sundays from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Brown is one of 114 young leaders across the country awarded $400 grants to organize projects to help end childhood hunger. Grantees will educate and mobilize their peers around the issue to help end childhood hunger through awareness, service, advocacy, and philanthropy activities.

Celebrating 31 years of youth changing the world, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is the largest youth service and civic action event in the world.

Brown also wants to thank his youth members for all their hard work and dedication on the project.

Two of the members, Avery Butler

and Mikala Boshell, conducted a schoolwide food drive in Ceredo Kenova Middle School.

“We want to empower today’s youth because we believe they are the generation to end child hunger. We are supporting young leaders, from elementary to college students, who are dedicating their time to solving this crisis in one of the world’s wealthiest countries,” said Gerri Mason Hall, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Chair and Chief Human Resources Officer, Sodexo North America. “By investing in their efforts on Global Youth Service Day, we hope to ignite the passion in other young people to join the fight against child hunger.”

Founded in 1986, Youth Service America (YSA) is a nonprofit organization that supports youth to learn the skills they need to find their voice, take action and have an impact on critical challenges facing their communities.

To measure its global impact in more than 100 countries, YSA aligns its outcomes with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 21st Century Skills.

To learn more, visit www.YSA.org. For more information, visit www.YSA.org and www.GYSD.org.