The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand Reveals Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest Finalists

Twenty-Five families are stirring up nationwide support to win one of five grand prizes

The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, the number-one global rice brand, is excited to announce this year's 25 BEN'S BEGINNERS™ Cooking Contest finalists. Now in its sixth year, the BEN'S BEGINNERS™ program is part of a movement driven by the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand to inspire families to cook together and to help kids learn the essential life skill of cooking as well as they learn how to read and write. The finalists are vying for a chance to be one of the five grand prize winners who will each receive $15,000 cash, a hometown celebration and a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for their school.

The following finalists were selected out of entries from across the country:

•Wendy Salauson and Ean of Hoover, Ala.

•Kim Ly and Peter of San Gabriel, Calif.

•Katherine Passaro and Vincent of Hudson, Fla.

•Juliana Evans and Gabby from Wesley Chapel, Fla.

•Rayshun Wright and Joshua of Statham, Ga.

•Jeanae Osborne and Owen of Shreveport, La.

•Nohelia Castillo and Yaleska of New Carrollton, Md.

•James Markwood and Savannah of Silver Springs, Md.

•Emily Bydlon and Simon of Andover, Minn.

•John Ruhland and Cassidy of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

•Vivian Arazu and Gerald of Rome, N.Y.

•Rodney Sheffield and RJ of Amelia, Ohio

•Rapheal Jacob and Maya of Broken Arrow, Okla.

•Rapheal Jacob and Nigel of Broken Arrow, Okla.

•Alyssa Oxenreider and Austin of Shillington, Pa.

•Alyssa Oxenreider and Levi of Shillington, Pa.

•Carole McMahon and Colton of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

•Luciana Malkomes and Gabriela of Arlington, Texas

•Matthew Thyng and Sam of Austin, Texas

•Eric Thomas and Chandler of League City, Texas

•Carmen Lemmon and Brooklyn of Taylorsville, Utah

•Matthew Adkins and Juliet of Coleman Falls, Va.

•Keith O Brien and Ronan of Falls Church, Va.

•Peter Grender and Gordon of Cambridge, Wis.

•Peter Grender and Samuel of Cambridge, Wis.

To qualify, parents and young chefs were encouraged to submit a recipe and photo demonstrating the power of shared meals by preparing a rice-based dish together. Now, finalists will rally their communities to not only vote for their recipe, but encourage all families to inspire healthy eating habits by cooking together.

"The BEN'S BEGINNERS™ campaign continues to inspire parents and children nationwide to make lasting memories in the kitchen," said Manish Amin, Senior Brand Manager, UNCLE BEN'S®. "We know that cooking as a family from a young age has many benefits, from instilling healthy habits to leading to higher academic achievement. We applaud our top 25 finalists and their families for their dedication to creating delicious meals together while having fun."

Starting today, through November 6, 2017, individuals can visit unclebens.com to vote for one of the 25 finalists' photos. After the voting period closes, five grand prize winners will be selected. For more information on the contest, kid-friendly cooking tips and recipes, please visit unclebens.com.

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