For Immediate Release October 2014

Contact: Nina Casalena:

(410) 366-8343



The Vegetarian Resource Group announced that $20,000 in prizes consisting of one award of $10,000 and two awards of $5,000 will be granted in scholarship money to graduating U.S. high school students who have promoted vegetarianism/veganism in their schools and/or communities. Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or fowl. Vegans are vegetarians who do not use other animal products such as dairy or eggs.

For application information, visit: Deadline for applications is February 20, 2015.

Entrants will be judged on having shown compassion, courage, and a strong commitment to promoting a peaceful world through a vegetarian/vegan diet/lifestyle. Payment will be made to the student's college (U.S. based only).

Entries may be sent by students graduating from high school in spring 2015. Applications should be postmarked on or before February 20, 2015. Students graduating after 2015 may apply to our annual contest being held in their high school graduation year. Early submission is encouraged.

2014 winners included:

Isabella Pezzulo from Florida worked with Food Not Bombs to serve fresh, homemade vegetarian meals to the homeless. At her school Environmental meetings, she would contribute by preparing large dishes so everyone could enjoy healthy vegetarian recipes. Her most popular dishes included: quinoa salad, homemade hummus, vegan samosas with homemade mango chutney, guacamole, black bean and corn salsa, pasta salads, vegan chocolate chip rosemary cookies, and pumpkin banana bread. Since sophomore year, Isabella also has sold her homemade vegan granola throughout the school. She claimed “It is my way of proving to my peers that vegan food isn’t bland.” Also, due to a grant she received from The Whole Foods Garden Grant, her school made plans to construct a greenhouse next to the school. Through her cooking and community service Isabella has extended joy to others by living her life compassionately.

In the fifth grade Hunter Gabel from California spent the year working and researching with his school’s principal and a local gardening expert before finally planting a “garden wall” called the Cougar Patch. He continued to work with and expand this project through high school. What started as the garden wall grew into the idea for an on campus garden, as a way to help the entire campus community get involved in the spirit of healthful eating and environmental awareness. The garden got backing from the school district after testimony from Hunter and other stakeholders in the program, and it started scaling up from there. Once the teachers saw how students across so many age groups were engaged by the program, it quickly spread to all the other schools in the district. It was determined the harvest from the school’s garden could be used in healthy eating lessons for the students. Each class picks some of the harvest together, and then a teacher or parent volunteer prepares a dish with their pickings and serves it to the students. While preparing the food and eating it, they discuss the benefits of vegetarian options, healthy eating, and fresh food.

Hunter was also involved in his school health fair and convinced his school to serve vegetarian options at community events, such as the football snack bar where he implemented veggie patties for hamburgers, vegetarian noodles, and meatless burritos. At his Student Government Mixers he made sure that meatless pasta, pizza, or stir-fry was available. At prom, hunter implemented veggie options such as vegetarian lasagna. In five years Hunter hopes to attend medical school in order to extend his knowledge of health and nutrition through a vegetarian diet.

To view past VRG scholarship winners, visit:
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The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization which educates the public about vegetarianism and veganism. A vegetarian does not eat meat, fish, or fowl. A vegan is a vegetarian who does not use other animal products such as eggs and milk. For more information on vegetarianism, visit [ ].

Interesting articles at include:

For more information, go to; write to The Vegetarian Resource Group, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; or e-mail