CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University's Students in Free Enterprise group has taken first place overall in the 2010 Let's Can Hunger Challenge.

The competition is sponsored each year by the national Students in Free Enterprise organization and Campbell Soup Company.

The OSU students will be featured in a special Campbell print advertisement in addition to participating in a strategic planning session with a Campbell's executive to address long-term hunger relief. They also received $3,000 to use on future hunger efforts.

The teams had to demonstrate an ability to organize and implement successful food or fund drives in their local community, implement an integrated marketing campaign to raise awareness about hunger, and demonstrate that their team assisted local people in breaking the cycle of hunger.

OSU beat out 200 teams nationally to take the top prize. Last year the team won first place in the nation for the category of "Hunger Awareness," one of three awards given. This year, they took first overall for the whole competition.

The students toured Oregon in the past year, meeting with local food banks and spreading awareness about the issue of hunger. They won an award from Linn-Benton Food Share in March for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food during OSU's annual food drive, more than any other student group.

Oregon has one of the highest rates of hunger in the nation. Over the last year, the Linn-Benton Food Share has seen an increase in demand of 1,800 requests for emergency food boxes.

"We were pleased to be recognized at a national level for our hunger initiative," said Drew Anderson, a sophomore and member of OSU SIFE. "When we learned that Oregon ranks second in the nation for food insecurity, we were inspired, challenged and driven to make a difference,"

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The students from the national winning team include:

Dale McCauley (Aurora)

Stephen Hodges (Lake Oswego)

Carol Hahn (Albany)

Jennifer Villalobos (Molalla)

Andrea White (Corona, Calif.)

Doug White (Corona, Calif.)

Willen Sin (Gresham)

Drew Anderson (Gresham)

Lauren Hines (Grants Pass)

MacAdam Lea (Lake Oswego)

Kim Pendergrass (Tigard)

Kat Oden (Salem)

Carl Stutz (Gaston)

Bryan Pendergrass  (Tigard)

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