With win, Calvert student would land school a new cafeteria

Calvert Elementary third-grader Annie Klepper has entered the Uncle Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest; if she wins, she is to win a cafeteria makeover for her school.

The contest, geared toward children in kindergarten through eighth grade, is to help children learn to make healthier choices and get them interested in cooking, according to a release.

For the contest, Annie was to submit a video showing her family in the kitchen that introduces a rice-based dish they prepared. The dish, “Annie’s ‘Confetti’ Mediterranean Rice Salad,” was inspired by the family’s time in Spain, Shannon Klepper, Annie’s mom, said.

“My favorite thing about cooking together is just spending time together,” Annie said. “I thought it would be nice for the cafeteria ladies, and the children at Calvert Elementary to have a nice place to work and eat.”

From now through Oct. 27, Internet users can go online and vote for Annie’s video. If she wins, she is to receive $30,000 toward a cafeteria makeover for Calvert Elementary. Also, her family is to receive $15,000, and Annie and another family member win a chance to appear on “The Rachael Ray Show.”

The $15,000 is to go toward the family’s organization “Tune it forward.”

“I don’t want to spend the money on myself. If I win, I would to donate the money to Tune it Forward and help other children in Haiti,” Annie said. “Also, I think it would be really fun for our cafeteria to get a check for $30,000.”

Shannon said they found out about the contest on the back of a box of Uncle Ben’s rice. She said winning is a long-shot, but it is for a good cause.

“My daughter Annie is such a generous soul,” Shannon said. “She is always looking for ways to help others.”

To vote, people can visit www.bensbeginnerscontest.com/brand and search for an individual’s name or the name of the recipe. People can vote once every 24 hours.