Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief organization, today announced that television personality and bestselling author, Rachael Ray, has donated $160,000 to support the National Produce Program and the BackPack Program through her Yum-o! organization, which is a long-standing supporter of Feeding America and hunger-relief.
The donation will support Feeding America's National Produce Program, a nationwide initiative to increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables distributed to the 37 million people in the United States served by Feeding America network food banks and partner agencies. Last year alone, the National Produce Program secured more than 120 million pounds of fresh produce on behalf of food banks.
"The donation from Yum-o! to the National Produce Program will help aid our food banks in the weekly distribution of more than eight million pounds of fresh produce to children and families facing hunger," said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America."We are especially grateful to Yum-o! for this donation because oftentimes food banks are the only source of fresh fruits and vegetables for people struggling to put food on the table."
Yum-o!'s donation will also support the BackPack Program at food banks across the country. Feeding America has granted five $10,000 donations to the following food banks:
- Lowcountry Food Bank, Charleston, SC
- Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, Norfolk, VA
- Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Indianapolis, IN
- All Faiths Food Bank, Sarasota, FL
Through the BackPack Program, low-income children receive bags filled with shelf-stable, nutritious food to take home for the weekends and school vacations. Containing wholesome, easy-to-prepare meals, the bag is provided to eligible children free of charge and is distributed at the child's school throughout the school year. The BackPack Program provides food and nourishment to nearly 230,000 children every year.
"More than one in five children in the United States struggles with hunger, a reality that inspired my Yum-o! organization to focus on funding projects and charities that feed hungry children," said Rachael Ray, founder of Yum-o!."By supporting Feeding America's National Produce Program and the BackPack Program at local food banks, Yum-o! can help ensure children facing food insecurity are receiving nutritious and wholesome food."
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that 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 www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Rachael Ray is best known as the host of the hit syndicated Emmy Award winning daytime television show"Rachael Ray" produced by CBS Television Distribution in association with Harpo Productions, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment. Rachael's warmth, energy, and boundless curiosity also reaches scores of fans through her popular Food Network shows, bestselling cookbooks, her own line of cookware, knives, signature food ingredients and lifestyle magazine Everyday with Rachael Ray. In 2007, Rachael launched the Yum-o! organization, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking and in 2008 she partnered with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition to create a line of pet food of which all her proceeds are donated to organizations that help animals in need. For more information, visit www.rachaelray.com.
Yum-o!® is Rachael Ray's nonprofit organization that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships. By providing the tools to create easy, affordable and delicious meals, Yum-o! is changing the way America eats. For more information about the Yum-o! organization, please visit www.yum-o.org.