MINNEAPOLIS — For a second year, General Mills, Inc. is conducting its Feeding Better Futures Scholars Program, an initiative aimed at sparking ideas to fight hunger, reduce food waste and grow foods more sustainably.

Participants are offered a chance to win up to $50,000 for their ideas while gaining mentorship in the industry and exposure at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

The need for innovative ideas for the food system will intensify in coming years when world food production will need to increase by 70% in order to feed a world population expected to exceed 9 billion people by 2050.

“Feeding future generations sustainably is a complicated problem, and we recognize the need to find solutions now,” said Jeffrey L. Harmening, chairman and chief executive officer of General Mills. “As a global food leader for over 150 years, we’re proud of our efforts to alleviate hunger and promote environmentally responsible practices across our supply chain, but we can’t solve these issues alone.”

The grand prize winner in the program’s first year was Katie Stagliano of South Carolina. Now 19, Ms. Stagliano started Katie’s Krops as a third grader. The program seeks to empower young people to grow vegetable gardens and donate the harvest to help feed people in need. Currently more than 100 Katie's Krops gardens have been planted in 31 states.

Another finalist was Jack Griffin, an undergraduate at the University of Michigan and the developer of an app called FoodFinder that connects families with local food pantries. To date, the app has cataloged over 25,000 food pantries in all 50 states.

Young people between the ages of 13 and 21 are invited to participate in this year’s program by submitting a short video or photos to www.feedingbetterfutures.com before Feb. 26. Finalists will be announced in April.