New York, NY – siggi’s, the maker of Icelandic skyr with simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar, announced Cleveland School District Dietitian, Allison Thirion, MPH, RDN, LD, the winner of the fourth annual Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest.
Thirion will receive a $10,000 grant – the largest grant awarded by the Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest since the program’s inception – to support her initiative, the Nutrition Network.
The Nutrition Network will connect students in schools across the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to credentialed experts who will provide evidence-based nutrition education to teach students about the importance of eating healthy, whole foods. 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.”
“With this valuable grant from siggi’s yogurt, thousands of students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will have access to quality nutrition education,” said Chris Burkhardt, Executive Director of School Nutrition in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. “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.”
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.”
Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs has funded four creative programs since its inception, 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 siggis 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.
siggi’s dairy began in 2004 when Siggi Hilmarsson felt homesick for a staple of his childhood diet, skyr, a thick, creamy, high-protein yogurt from his native Iceland. The yogurts he found on shelves in the U.S. were much too sweet and artificial tasting for his liking. His mother sent him a recipe, and with that, he began making skyr in his small New York City kitchen. Today, siggi’s makes rather delicious yogurt products with simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar. True to Icelandic tradition, siggi’s products do not contain any artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors or colors, and they are made with milk from family farms that do not use growth hormones such as rBST. For more information about siggi’s and to find store locations, visit www.siggis.com.