These grants are open to students ages 6 to 18 who are enrolled in an accredited educational institution in the United States.
They must have demonstrated an on-going commitment to their community by performing volunteer services impacting hunger in the United States at least within the last 12 months.
Winners may select the hunger-related non-profit of their choice to receive the grant.
Lyzhina chose the Arkansas Rice Depot where she has volunteered over the past eight years.
Last year The Rice Depot distributed almost six million pounds of food to the more than 400,000 people in Arkansas who face hunger. Their programs include the Food for Kids Program that serves over 22,000 students in 550 schools across Arkansas, the Food for Seniors Program that serves 50 homebound senior citizens, the Disaster Relief Program that serves families devastated by fires, floods and tornadoes, and the distribution of food to over 310 food pantries at churches and community centers.
In the first half of 2008, the Rice Depot provided 250,000 pounds of food and supplies to 37 communities hit by tornadoes, floods, and fires, bringing their total food and supplies distributed in this period to 3.5 million pounds.
Lyzhina, an adoptee at age 11, is familiar with hunger. She spent three years on the streets of Yekaterinburg, Russia, when her father died and her mother lost their apartment. She says, ³No child should have to go hungry in this country. Since coming to Arkansas I have loved being able to do community service that helps to feed the hungry. The Rice Depot has answered that need with the simple solution of the Good Samaritan. Our neighbor is hungry, feed him. By warehousing the surplus that would go to waste and by enlisting the army of volunteers that helps to feed the children, the senior citizens, and to stock the over 860 hunger programs in all 75 counties of the state that they serve, they are changing the face of hunger in Arkansas. I am proud to be a part of that solution.²
Through the North Little Rock Mayor¹s Youth Council Lyzhina has collected food for the Depot, delivered senior meals, and has worked in the warehouse.
At a reception at the Depot on Friday she will present the Sodexho check and a matching check of $1000 in honor of Laura Rhea, CEO, and the $2000 will ³adopt² NLR¹s Crestwood Elementary School for a year, delivering and furnishing food for the Food For Kids Program there.
Representatives from the Arkansas Rice Depot Board of Directors and others who are participating in the Adopt A School project will join Laura Rhea on Friday, August 15 at 10:00 a.m. at the Depot to accept the check from Katya Lyzhina, who will become the youngest person to adopt a school.
Other schools are available for adoption. Lyzhina is the daughter of Jan Scholl.