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UNCLE BEN'S Names Cooking Contest Winners

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The UNCLE BEN'S Brand revealed the five winners in its national Ben's Beginners Cooking Contest. Now in its fifth year, the contest aims to inspire parents and kids to cook together, with families submitting photos showing a finished rice-based dish they prepared for a chance to win. The following five grand prize winners will each receive a $15,000 cash prize for their family, a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for their school and a hometown celebration. 

The winners are: Roslyn and Samuel Davis of Shreveport, La.; Shelia and Nathan Davis of Charlevoix, Mich.; Tommy and Jesse Gunn of New York City; Wes and Georgia Holloman of Pearland, Texas; and Trisha and Cinnamon Lee of Kaneohe, Haw. 

The five 2016 winners were selected following public voting on the top 25 finalists, who were chosen out of nearly 2,000 photo submissions featuring kids in Kindergarten to eighth grade from across the U.S. To qualify for the Ben's Beginners Cooking Contest, entrants had to submit a photo capturing themselves cooking a rice-based dish while showcasing their enthusiasm for cooking together as a family. New to this year's contest, the UNCLE BEN'S Brand offered interactive cooking lessons and family-friendly recipes at beginners.unclebens.com to increase kitchen confidence and encourage families to cook together more often.

"This year Ben's Beginners inspired more families to cook together and gather around the dinner table together," says Andrew Cops, vice president of marketing, Mars Food North America, the parent company of Uncle Ben's. "We're thrilled to celebrate our five winners. Each of these families embody the spirit of Ben's Beginners™ and they all helped raise awareness and show their communities about the value that comes from cooking and eating together."

Starting on Nov. 28, the UNCLE BEN'S Brand honored each of the five winners by celebrating their culinary achievement in their hometown. At all of the five hometown celebrations, representatives from the UNCLE BEN'S Brand and supporters from their communities surprised the winners and their schools with a celebration fit for any budding young chef. The celebration included cooking the winning recipe and a large check presentation of the $30,000 grand prize for the school cafeteria makeover.

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