September 1, 2010
Celebrities, government leaders, major U.S. corporations and grass-roots volunteers across the nation will join together in September to support Feeding America's Hunger Action Month – a multi-faceted effort to mobilize the public to end hunger in the United States.
Dozens of national and local events are planned to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of hunger in our nation, and to motivate everyone -- from children to grandparents, and from farmers to Fortune 500 executives -- to take action to help feed the more than 49 million Americans who frequently struggle to find enough nutritious food to feed themselves and their families.
"Hunger is at a crisis level in our nation. Feeding America fed 37 million Americans in 2009, an increase of more than 12 million in just four short years. More than one-third of the households we interviewed for our Hunger in America 2010 study told us that they are sometimes completely without food. That's the bad news," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization."The good news is that so many individuals and companies have stepped forward to help us end hunger. Last year more than 700,000 Americans volunteered for the Feeding America network, and donations of food and funds from corporate America are at an all-time high. But more help is needed. We all need to continue our collective efforts to feed our neighbors -- from grass-roots activities in small cities -- all the way up to the board rooms of Wall Street."
The theme of Hunger Action Month 2010 is"30 Ways in 30 Days," based on the concept that everyone can help in some way, small or large, to help end hunger – whether as an advocate, organizer, volunteer or donor.
"During Hunger Action Month we're asking the public to fight hunger in their community by making a Hunger Action Month pledge. Every action makes a difference," said Escarra.
Many celebrities and sports figures have already signed a pledge, including NFL legend Joe Montana, actor David Arquette, singer Kat McPhee, chef Curtis Stone, NASCAR race car driver Kyle Busch, the Food Network's Ellie Krieger and John Bell, of Widespread Panic. Their pledges can be viewed at www.hungeractionmonth.org.
Examples of"30 Ways in 30 Days" activities include:
- writing a letter to elected officials about hunger;
- contacting your local food bank to ask how to organize a food drive at your office or place of worship;
- honoring your grandparents by sending a donation to your local food bank's programs to feed seniors, as a way of commemorating Grandparents Day on Sept. 12th
For a complete listing of"30 Ways in 30 Days" suggestions, and to learn more about Feeding America and your local food bank, visit: www.hungeractionmonth.org.
Many activities and events are planned for Hunger Action Month. They incude:
- On Aug. 28, Lee DeWyze, this year's winner of American Idol, announced his support of Feeding America and Hunger Action Month at a press conference in Chicago. DeWyze met members of the St. James Catholic Church Children's Choir from Arlington Heights, Illinois, where he attended grade school. That evening Lee DeWyze and the other top ten finalists of American Idol Season 9 performed in Chicago, in the American Idol Live tour supported by The Cheesecake Factory, a Lead Sponsor of Hunger Action Month.
- The Cheesecake Factory is sponsoring the"Share Your Voice" campaign, which invites everyone to join the fight against hunger. Each person who donates $5 or more to Feeding America through The Cheesecake Factory micro site: www.thecheesecakefactory.com/share will receive an e-Slice for a complimentary slice of cheesecake. The Cheesecake Factory will also donate the equivalent of 3.5 million meals through proceeds from the sale of its new Reese's® Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake. The Cheesecake Factory has donated more than $1.2 million to Feeding America in the past two years.
- On Sept. 1, actress Kimberly Williams Paisley will participate in a press and volunteer event at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee in Nashville.
- On Sept. 8, Kraft Foods will launch the Huddle to Fight Hunger campaign, Kraft Foods' largest branded initiative to date to fight hunger in America. The goal is to donate 20 million meals or more to Feeding America. The announcement will take place at an event in New York City's Herald Square. Football legend Joe Montana, sports journalist Erin Andrews and celebrity chefs Pat and Gina Neely are championing the cause and will participate in the launch event. Kraft Foods is a Presenting Sponsor of Hunger Action Month.
- From Sept. 1 through Oct. 16, Feeding America will be one of the designated charities that will benefit from in-store sales of Shop For A Cause passes at Macy's. The Shop For A Cause event will be held on Oct. 16. Pass holders are eligible for discounts at all Macy's locations and online. During the month of September, Macy's in-store restaurants will also be collecting donations at the register. This year marks Macy's second year as a Presenting Sponsor of Hunger Action Month. Last year's Shop For A Cause program raised more than $1.5 million for Feeding America.
- During the month of September, Ameriprise Financial will match, two for one, all online gifts made to Feeding America, up to $500,000: www.feedingamerica.org/give. Ameriprise Financial, along with its employees, retirees and financial advisors, has helped provide more than 10 million meals through donations to Feeding America and its member food banks, and more than 26,000 volunteer hours for hunger-relief since March 2009.
- As the official airline of Hunger Action Month since 2009, United Airlines has supported Feeding America and Hunger Action Month in several ways. Through the United Mileage Plus® Charity Miles program, United Mileage Plus® members have donated the equivalent of 1.6 million meals through donation of miles to Feeding America. In March of 2010, United launched its Eat for Good snack box and through the end of September, $1 from the purchase of each Eat for Good snack box will be donated to Feeding America. To date, the effort has raised nearly $100,000. During the month of September, Feeding America and Hunger Action Month will be featured in both United's in-flight Hemispheres Magazine, and via a 60 second in-flight video.
- Media Partners for Hunger Action Month include Time Magazine, Guideposts and the TLC Television Network. TLC will promote Hunger Action Month and Feeding America through its broadcast of public service announcements and other programming mentions throughout the month.
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