BRATTLEBORO -- Lashaunda Alley, 23, of Brattleboro has been awarded a Sodexo Foundation Youth Grant through Youth Service America (YSA).

The grant is supporting Alley and her fellow peer outreach workers at Youth Services, in leading a community service project that addresses the issue of childhood hunger. Service activities took place on Global Youth Service Day, April 11, the largest volunteering and service event in the world.

Alley and her Youth Services colleagues coordinated a substance-free dance party at the Headroom Stages in Brattleboro on April 11 which was open to all ages. Those attending brought non-perishable food items to benefit local food shelves or made a cash donation to their outreach efforts. Facts, artwork and information on ending childhood hunger was on display during the dance.

"Ending childhood hunger is important to me because hunger affects everyone," Alley said. "Last summer Brattleboro saw an 100 percent jump in the number of children needing to participate in the summer lunch program. There were a total of 800 children and youth fed. Childhood hunger is real and this is one of many ways for people in the community to help."

One-hundred grants of up to $500 were awarded to youth-led projects that aim to reduce childhood hunger in local communities throughout America. Grantees educate and mobilize their peers around the issue, creating solutions to end childhood hunger. Sodexo Foundation Youth Grants empower young people as problem-solvers working to improve the well-being and quality of life for their generation.

Global Youth Service Day is now in its 27th year. It recognizes the positive impact that young people have on their communities 365 days a year. As the largest service event in the world, Global Youth Service Day is celebrated in more than 135 countries and all 50 states.