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OPEN CALL FOR “FEED YOUR CREATIVITY” STUDENT ART COMPETITION

Written By Sergy Odiduro
May 1, 2023 at 10:22 PM

Feeding South Florida staff in front of a tractor-trailer showcasing artwork by Coral Springs Charter School student Caeden Khouri. Photo courtesy Feeding South Florida.

Feeding South Florida is hosting its Fourth Annual “Feed Your Creativity” Art Competition.

President and CEO Paco Vélez said that students would have a chance to use art to bring awareness to a problem that students deal with every year.

“This is a great way for them to express what their thoughts are on food waste and food insecurity, children without food, or overall just what food means to them,” said Vélez.

Students from elementary through high school can submit their contest entries through May 5th.
The first-place winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 17 during a Gallery Night where other submissions will also be displayed.

After a truck reveal celebration at the first-place winner’s school, their artwork will be placed on a 36-foot tractor-trailer which will travel throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe Counties. The piece will also be showcased at Feeding South Florida’s Pembroke Park warehouse.

Interested students should submit artwork based on this year’s theme: “Kids Facing Summer Hunger” and eliminating barriers to nutritious food.

Several art-based mediums are accepted including graphic design, paintings, drawings, and mixed media. Applicants are strongly encouraged to Incorporate the organization’s signature hues: orange, green, yellow, lime, and fuschia.

Vélez also encouraged adding alternatives to the mix.  The bolder the idea, the better.

Louidjy Hyppolite, winner of Feeding South Florida’s 2018 contest. Photo courtesy Feeding South Florida.

“Orange is [our] color,” said Velez, “but we also want them to explore a different format. We want them to explore different colors so it stands out from our regular everyday orange and our other everyday colors.”

Velez hopes that the contest, part of their “Summer Hunger Ends Here” campaign, continues to educate everyone on this issue.

He points out how problematic summer months can be, especially for families who rely on free or reduced-priced school meals. Other times when schools are closed are equally as challenging.

“Summer break is a very difficult time for families in South Florida, especially for children,” said Velez. “We saw this in March, April, May, not even during the summer of 2020, when families did not know how they were going to get to work because the schools were closed and the kids were home.” Because of this, finances are often stretched thin.

“So [families]have to figure out a few different things,” he said. “They have to figure out childcare…They’re also trying to make sure that the kids have something to eat because ordinarily, they have something to eat at school. Expenses go up for families and utilities go up because it’s hotter…and our families really are struggling with all of those expenses,” explained Velez.

Feeding South Florida’s goal is to meet these issues head-on through various strategies that focus on eliminating hunger. This includes their warehouse food services, Community Caring Centers, and their sponsorship of the USDA Summer Food Service Program, which provides meals at pop-up food pantries.

Velez said this is why their art competition is an important way to get others talking about an issue that affects so many. Ultimately, he hopes it motivates people to actually do something about it.

“We believe there’s room at the table for everyone,” he said, adding, “We want to make sure that folks have a place where they can share their thoughts and they can express their feelings.

“Whether you’re an attorney, whether you’re in sports, wherever your interest; if families struggle to put food on the table, or if there is food waste –  if these are issues that you are passionate about, then we want you at our table. We want you to bring your voice. We want you to advocate and so this is just another way to get, not just artists involved, but also our youth involved…I think it’s just a really creative way of getting more people to the table.”

For more information and to submit artwork visit: https://feedingsouthflorida.org/events.

 

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