siggi’s continues its legacy of promoting healthy eating, recently announcing that it has awarded a Cleveland School District Dietitian, Allison Thirion, MPH, RDN, LD, a $10,000 grant for being the winner of the fourth annual Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest. This grant will go toward supporting her initiative, the Nutrition Network, which connects students in schools across the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to credentialed experts who will provide evidence-based nutrition education to teach them about the importance of eating healthy, whole foods.
The Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest was created by the founder of siggi’s dairy, Siggi Hilmarsson. Siggi was inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of many registered dietitian nutritionists he met while launching siggi’s dairy. The Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest gives back to the registered dietitian nutritionist community with an annual grant intended to support their community nutrition idea.
“Since the start of the Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest, I’ve seen so much passion and creativity in the submissions. It’s been a pleasure to see our winners’ ideas go from proposals to actual programs,” said Hilmarsson. “The nutrition community is a tight-knit group looking to make their communities healthier. We doubled the grant prize in 2019 to show our support for their inspiring ideas.”
According to a press release, CMSD has partnerships with dietetic programs at Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University, The University of Akron, Cuyahoga Community College, and Marshall University that will support the Nutrition Network. Each session will include a lesson taught by a nutrition expert who will encourage engaging discussion with the students, and a culinary sampling where students will have the opportunity to taste new foods and discuss how it fits within the lesson’s discussion. The program will allow all 93 schools to individualize their curriculum and teaching.
“There is a strong desire in our school district for nutrition education. Previously, we have not had access to the resources and funding to develop a proper program,” said Thirion. “I’m so grateful and honored to be named the winner of this year’s Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs program. With this grant, we plan to reach 5,000 students and educators in the Nutrition Network’s first year.”
Chris Burkhardt, Executive Director of School Nutrition in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, added, “With this valuable grant from siggi’s yogurt, thousands of students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will have access to quality nutrition education. Through Allison’s innovative program, we will be able to connect teachers with local nutrition experts to complement what students are learning in the classroom.”
Since its inception, Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs has funded four creative programs, focusing on themes that align with the core values of siggi’s products—simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar.
“The siggi’s grant was pivotal in helping me get my business started. With the grant, I was about to buy essential equipment and tools to begin hosting healthy cooking classes on farms for underserved communities in Albuquerque, NM,” said Fallon Bader, the 2018 winner of the Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest and founder of The Sprouting Kitchen.
The Sprouting Kitchen is an innovative nutrition and group cooking class that can easily sprout (or pop-up) on any local farm in New Mexico with the goal of connecting people to local, healthy, and nourishing foods. Since launching classes last May, The Sprouting Kitchen has hosted 28 classes on local farms in New Mexico.
“Thanks to the grant money from siggi's yogurt, I have started to build a program that teaches proper nutrition to children of active duty American service members,” said Sarah Pflugradt, the 2017 winner of the Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest. “The grant allowed me to begin the program in the states, and then take it with me to Germany where my family is now based. It’s very simple: a proper diet is essential to a healthy child—and that’s why this program is so important.”
As part of siggi’s ongoing commitment to dietitians and the health and wellness community, the company launched siggi’s sessions, an online education program that offers opportunities for registered dietitian nutritionists to secure continuing education credits by viewing free educational webinars. All sessions are available on-demand in the siggi’s sessions portal, a dedicated resource that houses free webinars and related educational materials on the latest research and hot topics facing the nutrition industry. For more information or to request access to siggi’s sessions, visit www.siggis.com/sessions.
Thank you to siggi’s for being an inspiration to the industry!