"You Can't Help the World on an Empty Stomach," is the moving message captured on the front cover of this summer's Food Lion Feeds reusable bags. The drawing accompanying that message was created by Karen, age 10, from Dale City, Va., and features kids holding hands with the world in the background. Their t-shirts capture the sentiment "make a difference." Karen's drawing is one of 11 selected to appear on the new reusable bags.
She, and all of the winners, were recently recognized by Food Lion on a day filled with pride and warm hearts as family, friends and local dignitaries gathered to celebrate these local young artists. Summer provides a challenge for students who receive hot meals during the school year and have no means to substitute those meals when school is out. The bags kickoff Food Lion Feeds' Summers Without Hunger campaign. The kid-designed reusable bags sell in all Food Lion stores for $1 and with every purchase $6 is donated to the local food banks.
Contestants were required to display in their drawings how they would help feed someone who is hungry. They were encouraged to show how everyone in the community could help, from family members, friends, their heroes, their school's, other organizations – and even Food Lion!
The winners, selected from more than 300 entries, showed a level of maturity way beyond their years as they addressed the summer hunger crisis in their own communities with inspiring pictures.
Teegan, age 13, a winner from Onancock, Va., drew a birthday cake made of canned goods to represent the birthday party she had this year where presents were substituted for canned food for the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank. Teegan said on Saturday, "There are people here who are hungry and need food more than I needed gifts."
Kate, age 13, and her friend Payton, age 12, both from Hillsborough, N.C., decided to enter the contest because they realized roughly 30 percent of the kids at their school did not have enough to eat, and didn't have a lot of food in their pantries at home. This made it important to them to enter the contest. The Mayor of Hillsborough, Tom Stevens stopped by to congratulate Kate and Payton and to recognize their commitment to hunger relief. "It's astonishing, to be in a community as well off as we all are, to know that people are hungry, so thank you to everyone here, the food bank and Food Lion for making this all possible," said Mayor Stevens.
Other winners included Reyli, age 12, from Kannapolis, N.C. and Claire, age, from Mooresville, N.C.
The Food Lion family was well represented by Isabelle, age 9, from Mount Pleasant, N.C.
Her father, Steven Gilmore and older brother, Eli are Food Lion associates. They were in attendance along with her mother and grandparents to help congratulate Isabelle. Her drawing of a lion head with a mane comprised of healthy fruits and vegetables was displayed on a cake produced by the local Food Lion bakery.
Food Lion celebrated all winners at their local store with a party that included cake, balloons and a lot of hugs by family and friends. The winners signed bags for shoppers and family throughout the morning and then presented a check to the local food bank or feeding agency of their choice. The 7 winners presented checks to feed those in their communities totaling 40,000 meals. (The remaining winners will be recognized this Saturday.) Each artist also received an IPad as a thank you from Food Lion Feeds for their willingness to educate their community and our customers about the need to provide hunger-relief during the summer months.