TakePart.com blogs about Grind Out Hunger

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Grinding Out Hunger in Santa Cruz Posted by Travis Kaya on July 16, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Santa Cruz Skate Shop owner Danny Keith is on a mission to end hunger in his community by energizing young skaters to give back. Since 2004, Keith’s organization, Grind Out Hunger, has partnered with local schools to educate youth about hunger in their backyard and encourage students to donate food.

Every year, a number of schools take part in a friendly competition to see which student body can collect the most food donations, with the top 3 contenders sharing $1,200 in Santa Cruz Skate Shop gift certificates. Using innovative, student-driven projects, the more than 50 participating schools were able to collect 150,000 pounds of food in 2007–and the organization’s reach continues to grow.

In the vein of other skateboard nonprofits, Grind Out Hunger has partnered with Skateboards.com and Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest) to get food donations to families in need. A recipient of Feeding America’s Generation Next award, Keith hopes the program will serve as a model for food banks around the country to engage local youth, especially those interested in skateboarding. He is currently working on a DVD and media kit that will eventually be distributed nationally, and has designed a Grind Out Hunger skateboard deck (left) with all proceeds going to the rapidly growing organization.

“I enjoy being able to bring the message to the action sports youth in our area,” Keith says. “I feel that if informed kids have the biggest hearts and love a competition.”

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