The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) today announced its new grant program, The Heartwarming Project Action Grants, at its first-ever Makers of Good Teen Summit in New York City. The program will award grants to 400 teen projects aimed at overcoming one of Gen Z’s most pressing issues – social isolation. The Makers of Good Teen Summit is part of The Heartwarming Project, Hershey’s initiative dedicated to helping teens, parents and teachers create more inclusive communities.
In addition to awarding the grants, The Hershey Company will continue its partnership with top digital companies involved with the summit, including Snapchat, Google and Imgur, to help teens use social media to foster positive connections. Through training programs lead by Google employees and “Snap School,” the teens will learn how to leverage their social media channels for good and promote their projects. Teens passionate about combating social isolation can also continue the conversation with #stand4good into the new school year.
“Snapchat is all about removing barriers to self-expression and creativity, and fostering important communication and connection between real friends. We’re excited to be a part of the Summit, and to stand with Gen Z and help them amplify their voices,” said Luke Kallis, VP Advertiser Solutions, Snapchat.
Despite growing up in the digital age with tools to connect online, teens face high levels of loneliness and social isolation with recent studies describing Gen Z (currently ages 13-23) as the “loneliest generation.”1 The grants are designed to combat this pressing issue and support teens leading the way to advance inclusion and connection across the U.S.
“Our founder, Milton Hershey, was a social entrepreneur who invested in youth to create opportunity and a better future. We continue that legacy by investing in teens who are taking action to create positive change and bringing people together who want to make a difference,” said Todd Tillemans, President, U.S., The Hershey Company. “Our Heartwarming Project Action Grants provide a tangible opportunity for teens to help create a new future of social inclusion.”
Teen changemakers in the U.S., ages 13 to 18, can apply at www.heartwarmingproject.com with an endorsement from a parent, guardian, educator or other adult until Oct. 31, 2019. Up to 400 teens will receive Action Grants worth $250 each to start or advance existing inclusion projects in their schools and communities.
The grants will be administered by the non-profit organization WE and supported by the company’s Heartwarming Project. Grant recipients will be notified via email from WE. Complete guidelines and information is available at www.heartwarmingproject.com.
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company, celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2019, is headquartered in Hershey, Pa., and is an industry-leading snacks company known for bringing goodness to the world through its iconic brands, remarkable people and enduring commitment to help children succeed. Hershey has approximately 16,500 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands that drive more than $7.8 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, IceBreakers, SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty.
For 125 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably. Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on helping children succeed.
To learn more, visit www.thehersheycompany.com
1 The Cigna US Loneliness Index was conducted by Ipsos Polling from February 21 – March 6, 2018 among 20,096 adults ages 18 and over from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of ±0.8 percentage points for all respondents surveyed. For more information on the comprehensive survey visit www.cigna.com.
Media Contact: Todd Scott