Ben’s Original™ Opens Applications for U.S. SEAT AT THE TABLE™ Fund Scholarship For 2022

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Mars Food’s BEN’S ORIGINAL™ brand has opened the application site for its U.S. SEAT AT THE TABLE™ Fund scholarship. Developed in partnership with the National Urban League and UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the scholarship supports Black students who aspire to build careers in food-related industries get education and mentorship opportunities they deserve. 

“We’re thrilled to offer the scholarship for the second year as we continue to work towards our overarching purpose to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table,” said Mars Food North America President, Denis Yarotskiy. “This year, we are hoping to award at least 20 students with scholarships to help them pursue their dreams of working in food-related industries.” 

Last year, the brand awarded the inaugural SEAT AT THE TABLE™ Fund scholarships to eight recipients from six states, all enrolled in four-year university programs, including Alabama Agriculture and Mechanical University, Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University, Johnson & Wales, Howard University and North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University. Their areas of study span the spectrum of the food ecosystem: food science, baking and pastry arts, nutrition and wellness, culinary arts and animal sciences and agriculture. 

“Last year’s scholarship recipients are truly remarkable candidates and students,” said Marc H. Morial, National Urban League President and CEO. “We encourage anyone who qualifies to apply for the U.S. SEAT AT THE TABLE™ Fund scholarship, as together with BEN’S ORIGINAL™, we want to positively affect the pathway to employment of Black people within the food industry.”  

The U.S. SEAT AT THE TABLE™ Fund scholarship is open to Black high school seniors, Black college students, and Black adults interested in certifications in the food industry. The renewable, need-based scholarship covers education-related expenses up to $25,000 per scholarship, per year, towards the completion of either a food science or culinary arts certificate, associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Interested applicants can apply at https://scholarships.uncf.org/ToProgram/Seatatthetable until May 26, 2022. 

“We’re excited to continue our important work with BEN’S ORIGINAL™ and the National Urban League,” said Maurice E. Jenkins, Jr., UNCF’s Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer. “It is important we continue to bridge the funding and knowledge gap for Black students interested in food-related careers. The commitments linked with the SEAT AT THE TABLE™ Fund scholarship set an important precedent for impacting students’ lives and bettering the food industry across the United States.” 

This year will mark the second of a five-year, $2 million commitment from BEN’S ORIGINAL™ as part of its mission to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table. 

Later this year, the SEAT AT THE TABLE™ Fund scholarship will expand into Canada where BEN’S ORIGINAL™ brand will provide $200,000 of funding over two years to students who identify as Black, Indigenous or Persons of Colour, to help them successfully complete their culinary education. The brand is partnering with four of the nation’s top culinary programs – Vancouver Community College (BC), Humber College (ON), Centennial College (ON) and Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (QC) – who will administer the awards directly. The application process will open this summer for the September 2022 semester – details will be announced later this spring. 

For additional information about Mars Food’s BEN’S ORIGINAL™ efforts in supporting education – including those in Greenville, MS, where the brand has been produced for 43 years – please visit bensoriginal.com. 

Source: Mars, Incorporated

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