Governor’s Cup

John Witherspoon Gov CupJohn Witherspoon Middle School Awarded The Governor’s Cup

The Governor Endorsed Students Change Hunger competition will have various awards for the schools participating; however, only one school will have the privilege of winning the Governor’s Cup.  In order to be given consideration of the Governor’s Cup, a school must submit an essay or video to their food bank representative on what they have accomplished, how much they have raised and what sets them apart from all the other schools. BE CREATIVE!

The Deadline to Apply is Friday, December 27, 2019

Students must demonstrate effort in the categories of Creative Promotional Campaign, Engaging the Outside Community, Hunger Advocacy and Education Impact, In-School Special Events, and Student Leadership.  Definitions and examples of each category can be found below.  The more categories and activities the students engage in, the more points will be awarded to them.  We have created a Students Change Hunger Judging Rubric that can be downloaded, so you can see exactly how the points will be awarded.  The top five scoring schools from each of the five food banks will become the 25 finalists for the Governor’s Cup. Our Judging Committee will then select one winner.

Judging Criteria:

Creative Promotional Campaign

This category evaluates what creative means students used to promote their food and/or fund drives.  Examples could be online promotion via a school website, social media, print, radio, TV, or signage.

Here are a few examples:

  • Canned Soup Drive – Students run a school-wide soup drive, dividing the school by grade levels. Students decorate garbage cans to look like big soup cans, hand out flyers, create commercials, etc.
  • Home Room Challenge – Homerooms collect the most food items over a three week period to earn PTA-donated items, such as wristbands, or cinch bags, as well as lunch with the principal.
  • PB&J Drive – Students run a school-wide Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive, making it a class versus class competition.
  • Baked Goods Sale – Students run an after school sales of various baked goods.

Engaging the Outside Community

LEARNED (examples below)

  • Watch a film about hunger and write a review to share. Read a book about hunger and write a summary to pass onto your teacher or share.
  • Invite a guest speaker to an assembly to talk about hunger. Visit a hunger information website to learn some facts about hunger

SHARED (examples below)

  • Tell what you know – tell 5 friends, family, or neighbors 5 facts about the hunger facing our nation.
  • Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve – design and wear a tee shirt.
  • Art can be a powerful voice – draw a picture, write a poem, make a video about hunger, pass it on!
  • Write an article for your school newsletter about the hunger facing our country.

CONNECTED (examples below)

  • Find out who your elected officials are by visiting; post it on a bulletin board.
  • Invite an elected official to your school during the food drive.
  • Write a letter, email or call an elected official, tell them what you know about hunger and why it is important. (See below)

    Sample Message

    Dear ________,
    I am very concerned about the issue of hunger. My school, [school name] in [town] is participating in the Students Change Hunger campaign and is collecting food for our local food bank to help. We are doing our part. But we need the government’s help too. Cuts to nutrition assistance programs would hurt struggling families in our community. The food banks will not be able to meet the high demand and increased need. Please support our efforts to feed those in need.


LEAD (examples below)

  • Organize a hunger advocacy group at your school and be the link to pass on information all year long.
  • Organize a Wear Your Heart on your Sleeve school campaign and designate a day to wear them.
  • Organize and visit an elected official at their local office.
  • Write an article for your school or local newspaper about hunger that encourages others to learn more and do something about the problem.
Film List
  • Food Inc. – 2008 American documentary film critically examines corporate farming in the United States.
  • Food Stamped – An informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. Their adventures expose challenges and difficulties in America’s broken food system.
  • Cafeteria Man – The documentary film chronicles an ambitious effort to ‘green’ the public school client serving 83,000 students in Baltimore.
  • Waging A Living – A 2005 documentary film that addresses the issue of the American Dream and examines the lives of four Americans in California and the Northeast who work full-time jobs, but are still having trouble making ends meet.
  • The Garden – South Central L.A. Farmers have created a miracle, the largest community garden in the United States in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods.
  • Sesame Street: Growing Hope against Hunger – Primetime special produced by Sesame Workshop presents families’ personal stories to raise awareness of the widespread issue of hunger in the United States, as well as strategies that have helped these families find resources and grow stronger together. Get it here
Book List


Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting – A child’s eye view of the problem of homelessness.

Getting’ Through Thursday by Melrose Cooper – A story about a young boy dealing with impoverished conditions and the side effects of poverty.

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan – The story of a young boy’s introduction to work in a community kitchen.


The Lunch Thief by Anne C. Bromley – Rafael is angry that a new student is stealing lunches, but he takes time to learn what the real problem is before acting.

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman and Judy Pedersen – One by one, a number of people of varying ages and backgrounds transform a trash-filled inner-city lot into a productive and beautiful garden.

The Double Life of Zoe Flynn by Janet Lee Carey– Zoe Flynn tries to keep her classmates from knowing she is homeless. A moving novel about hope, family, friendship and the true definition of a home. Sidewalk Story by Sharon Bell Mathis – When her best friend’s family is evicted from their apartment, a nine-year-old girl decides to become an advocate and does something about the situation.


Nickeled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich – Compelling book that looks at the challenges of being a part of the working poor through the eyes of an undercover journalist.

World Hunger: Twelve Myths by Frances Moore Lappe, Joseph Collins and Peter Rosset – Addresses the myths about hunger and poverty in developing and developed countries that keep us from approaching and addressing the problem.

The Working Poor Invisible in America by David Shipler – Braced by hard fact and personal testimony, the author unravels the forces that confine people in the quagmire of low wages. And unlike most works on poverty, this book also offers compelling portraits of employers struggling against razor-thin profits and competition from abroad.

Food Matters by Mark Bittman – The award winning culinary author’s plan for responsible eating that’s as good for the planet as it is for your weight and your health.

Websites – Map the Meal Gap Study – Hunger Statistics by local area – Food Research and Action Center, Program Statistics by state, hunger policy studies – New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition for Statewide Policy Information – End Hunger NJ a project of the Hunger Prevention Advisory Committee with information from where to get help to nutrition and hunger statistics – Legal Services of NJ, Poverty Research Institute Poverty Benchmark Reports – Advocates for Children in New Jersey, NJ Kids Count Reports by County

 In-School Special Events

This category is in regards to having food or fund drives tied to any special events taking place at the school. For example, some schools will offer a discount on a ticket to one of their sporting events if a patron brings a canned item to support the food drive.

Here are a few examples:

  • Food Box Challenge – Have teachers take a headshot of themselves and post it on a large food donation box. Place the boxes of the respective participating teachers in strategic areas, so that the winning teacher has bragging rights, and the grand total for the school rises.
  • Pep Rally Challenge – Have each grade compete to decorate their side of the gymnasium, customize (or unify) their clothes, and collect as much food as they can, for the rally. The grade that wins the majority vote (voted on by the teachers), wins the title, “Easily the Best Grade in Town”.

While activities and events done by each school may qualify for multiple categories within the Judging Criteria, we ask that you limit the usage of each activity performed to one category (i.e. a Pep Rally should count for one of the following categories, not both: In-School Event and Creative Promotional Campaign).

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