A 15-year-old schoolgirl who received a grant from a multinational company will use the money to set up a food bank in Coulsdon.
Grace Jones was selected by Unilever to speak about her passion to end food waste for TV advertising campaign, Bright Speeches, now on air.
Along with the other young campaigners who featured in the advert, Grace received a 10,000 Euro grant to help her realise her dream of bringing about change in her community.
"This is such a fantastic opportunity to get my voice heard and to let people know that food waste is a really important issue that I think should be recognised," said Grace, a pupil at Woodcote High in Coulsdon.
"I hope knowing these problems are right on our doorstep will help people to become more involved. I think the food bank will really bring this issue into the community."
Recycling, composting and minimising waste has always been the norm for Grace but she soon discovered through her school friends that this was not the case for everybody.
It was this that first inspired Grace to bring home the issue of hunger.
"The fact that it is such an unknown issue is actually what shocked me the most," she said.
"At home we would always recycle and try not to buy too much and give to food banks as much as we could."
In Britain 11,500 tonnes of food is thrown out from homes every day yet at the same time, one in five families lives in poverty.
The use of food banks for emergency meals has tripled in the UK over the last year.
"Having a food bank in Coulsdon is going to help to build community strength and allow everyone to see that some people here are struggling," Grace said.
The TV adverts coincide with the #ClearAPlate movement which urges people to show their distaste for food waste by sharing pictures of their empty plates.
Unilever spokesperson Jon Goldstone said: "We wanted to give children like Grace, the opportunity to speak out on an issue that mattered to them."