Siggi’s, a New York-based maker of Icelandic skyr “with simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar,” said it named a Cleveland School District dietitian, Allison Thirion, MPH, RDN, LD, the winner of its 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, Siggi’s said.

Each session will include a lesson taught by a nutrition expert who will encourage engaging discussion with the students, as well as a culinary sampling where students will have the opportunity to taste new foods and discuss how they fit 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.”

The Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest was created by the founder of Siggi’s, Siggi Hilmarsson. Siggi was inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of many registered dietitian nutritionists he met while launching Siggi’s.  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,” said Hilmarsson. “It’s been a pleasure to see our winners’ ideas go from proposals to actual programs. 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.”