August 24, 2009

More than 12 million children in America are at risk of hunger. Despite classrooms being back in session – a time when many children will find some relief in going back to the free or reduced-price school meals – help is still needed on weekends and school breaks when assistance is not available. That's why California Raisins, today, announced a partnership with "Days of our Lives" actress and host of the hit television show, "The Biggest Loser," Alison Sweeney to raise awareness about Feeding America's childhood hunger initiatives, including the Backpack Program.

"As a mom, I recognize the importance proper nutrition plays in the school performance and overall development of young children," says actress Alison Sweeney. "That's why I'm proud to partner with California Raisins in its efforts to raise awareness of Feeding America's childhood hunger initiatives like the Backpack Program."

Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity and its Backpack Program is designed to meet the special needs of children at risk of hunger on weekends and during school breaks. Backpacks are filled with kid-friendly, nonperishable and vitamin fortified food and distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or before holiday vacation. In addition to providing nutritious food to school children in need, some Backpack Programs provide extra food for younger siblings at home.

As part of their effort to raise awareness of Feeding America's childhood hunger initiatives and to contribute to the fight against domestic hunger, California raisin growers are donating a semi-truck load of raisin snack packs and $50,000 to support Feeding America.

"On behalf of the nearly 3,000 California raisin growers, we hope everyone will join the effort to support Feeding America in the fight against domestic hunger," says Larry Blagg, senior vice president of marketing, California Raisins. "Whether you are an organization or an individual, there are many ways you can get involved, including volunteering at your local hunger relief location or simply visiting the Feeding America Web site at to learn more about the realities of hunger in America and how you can help."

To coincide with Feeding America's Hunger Action Awareness Month, in September, California raisin growers will donate 140,000 snack packs to the Fresno Community Food Bank, just one of 120 Feeding America member food banks. California Raisin's monetary donation of $50,000 will help support the more than 2,900 Backpack Programs nationwide, serving more than 190,000 kids a year. More about California Raisins involvement in the Feeding America program can be found at


Please contact one of our media representatives or call 800-771-2303

About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

the California Raisin Marketing Board

A State Marketing Order in 1998 created the California Raisin Marketing Board and it is 100 percent grower funded. Its mission is to support and promote the increased use of California-grown raisins and sponsor crop production, nutrition and market research. For more information about the California Raisin Marketing Board and to browse delicious recipes, visit

Stay Informed

Get email updates about what we're doing to help solve hunger and how you can help.