Meet 3 Inspiring Teens Feeding A Better Future

By Laura Knutson

At least for three teens who are looking to scale big ideas into big impact.

When we launched the General Mills Feeding Better Futures Scholars Program last year, our goal was to support young people who were making a difference in how we feed the world. They’re our future, after all. We were humbled by the innovative work young people across the nation were jumpstarting in their communities – and this year was no different.

In January, we once again asked the next generation for examples of their do-good work in hunger relief, food waste reduction and sustainable agriculture.

Three inspiring teens rose to the top:

Kenzie Hinson has given away 600,000 pounds of food to families in need, organizing her food pantry like a grocery store to preserve “shopper” dignity. Ugo Angeletti designed a free organic waste collection service in his community, educating kids about the benefits of composting. And Bradley Ferguson turned an American Legion post into a “victory garden” to feed homeless veterans.

Now, the really fun part. Our grand prize winner will receive $50,000 and industry mentorship to help take their idea to the next level.

Who should it be? Well, you get to decide…

Watch Kenzie’s, Ugo’s and Bradley’s stories before casting your vote at FeedingBetterFutures.com.

Mackenzie “Kenzie” Hinson, 14, Make A Difference Pantry (Mount Olive, North Carolina)

At just 10 years old, Hinson took a leap from volunteering at local food pantries to being the director of her own nonprofit, the Make a Difference Food Pantry. First established as a grocery store where families in surrounding communities could access quality food with dignity, today, the MAD Pantry has evolved to much more. From a mobile pantry that delivers fresh produce and hot meals to senior citizens monthly, to a seasonal food assistance program that helps prevent kids from going hungry during spring break, Kenzie and her team are stopping hunger one meal, one family at a time. To date, Hinson and the MAD Pantry have served more than 418,000 people and given away 600,000 pounds of food.

Ugo Angeletti, 19, back2earth (Miami, Florida)

Surprised by the amount of organic material in a typical family’s weekly garbage haul – including fruit rinds, egg shells and coffee grounds – Angeletti landed on a quest: to keep food waste out of landfills. That’s when he developed back2earth, a nonprofit organization providing an organic waste collection service to the residents of South Miami, Coconut Grove and, soon, Key Biscayne. Through the organization, Angeletti has diverted more than 11,000 pounds of food waste in the Miami area, and back2earth also expanded its business model to educate kids on the issue. Within the last year, he and his team have given more than 70 interactive presentations to teach kids the benefits of composting.

Bradley Ferguson, 18, Post Crashers and Mustangs Against Hunger (Atlantic City, New Jersey)

A senior at Mainland Regional High School in New Jersey, Ferguson was inspired to create solutions for food insecurity in his hometown and started two organizations in service of his mission. Established in 2014, Post Crashers is a service-learning organization that offers meals to homeless veterans via a home-grown victory garden built by Ferguson’s team. His second organization, Mustangs Against Hunger, was established in 2017 and is a high school food pantry that distributes thousands of pounds of non-perishable food to hundreds of families in need.

Cast your vote for Kenzie, Ugo or Bradley at FeedingBetterFutures.com through May 13, 2019. Then, follow along on Facebook and Instagram as we host all three finalists at General Mills world headquarters on May 20 and announce our grand prize winner.

With an expected nine billion people on the planet in a few decades, we know our current food cycle isn’t sustainable. And who better to help us than the change-makers of tomorrow?

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