Feeding America (formerly named America's Second Harvest) announced today that Ford Motor Company and Newman's Own will continue their longstanding commitment to combating rural hunger by extending their innovative and effective partnership with Feeding America called the"Partnership for Hunger Relief." This month, under the partnership, seven refrigerated trucks containing Newman's Own food will be donated to food banks that serve struggling rural communities across the country. In November, 100 million pounds of food will have been distributed nationwide under the partnership. The"Partnership for Hunger Relief" enables nutritious food such as meat, dairy and produce to be delivered via refrigerated trucks to remote communities which are often underserved. The announcement was made today by Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America.
This year marks the eighth consecutive year of the"Partnership for Hunger Relief." The 75 Ford trucks previously donated have traveled a combined total of 3.4 million miles and distributed over 97 million pounds of food - equivalent to over 76 million meals - to rural areas in need. The"Partnership for Hunger Relief" not only focuses on the importance of supplying food to rural communities but supplying nutritious protein-based foods and produce that require refrigeration.
Vicki Escarra said,"The economic downturn and the dramatic increase in fuel and food costs has made it extraordinarily difficult for our nation's food banks to meet the increase in demand. Rural areas are often underserved and throughout the last seven years, the 'Partnership for Hunger Relief' has provided tremendous relief to millions of families experiencing hunger. We could not he happier that Ford Motor Company and Newman's Own are continuing to support our efforts to feed millions of Americans."
"The Partnership for Hunger Relief began eight years ago when Paul Newman asked me if Ford would join with his company and Feeding America in addressing the growing problem of hunger in rural America," said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. "While the effort has produced significant results, the need is even greater today, especially given the current economic environment."
"Feeding America and Newman's Own are both about doing good through food. Thanks to our generous partner Ford Motor Company, we can expand with our alliance and help more people in struggling rural communities throughout the country." said Mike Havard, vice president, marketing Newman's Own Inc.
"Today's donation of seven additional Ford trucks to the Partnership for Hunger Relief brings our total to more than 80 vehicles on America's roads helping to serve the needs of people who are struggling to make ends meet," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "More work needs to done and Ford Motor Company remains committed to doing its part to address the hunger issue."
The seven food banks receiving trucks this October are: The Second Harvest Food Bank of the Chattahoochee Valley in Columbus, Ga., Mid-Michigan Food Bank in Lansing, Second Harvest Food Bank of San Diego, The Food Bank of North Alabama in Huntsville, The Northern Illinois Food Bank in St. Charles, IL, The Southeast Missouri Food Bank in Cape Girardeau, MO, and The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana in Monroe.
Hunger among rural households is higher than the national average with an estimated 2.3 million rural households facing hunger. Ironically, many of these hungry families are in the very rural and farm communities whose productivity feeds the world and provides low-cost wholesome food to American consumers. Many people need to turn to a food bank or church pantry just to eat in the very same communities where the food is raised. Due to the economic downturn, it is imperative that extra food assistance is sent to remote communities who are underserved.
According to the USDA report Household Food Security in the United States, 2006, 12 percent of all rural households are food insecure, an estimated 2.3 million households. The Feeding America study, Hunger in America 2006, found that 42.6 percent of the adult clients served by the network live in suburban or rural areas.
This announcement falls on the heels of a troubling nationwide local impact survey conducted by Feeding America. The May 2008 survey of 180 food banks nationwide found that 99% of the food banks reported between a 15 percent and 20 percent increase in the number of people being served, compared to one year ago. 81 percent of the food banks reported that they are unable to meet the growing demand without having to dramatically reduce the amount of food given to each household. Rising food and fuel prices are cited as primary reasons why more individuals are turning to food banks.
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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.
Newman's Own®, Inc., founded on a lark by Paul Newman and his buddy A.E. Hotchner in 1982, is now (to our own surprise!), a leading (and growing) premium food company that offers more than 175 varieties of delicious all-natural food and beverage products. Based in Westport, CT, the charitable mission of Newman's Own is expressed in its Company motto:"Shameless exploitation in pursuit of the Common Good." The continuation of the company's charitable mission is reflected in the following statement that will appear on every package of Newman's Own products: The Newman's Own Foundation continues Paul Newman's commitment to donate all after tax net profits from this product and related royalties for educational and charitable purposes. Paul Newman and the Newman's Own Foundation have given over $250 million to thousands of charities worldwide since 1982.
Visit www.newmansown.com for the nearest retailer/s that carry Newman's Own products and for recipe suggestions using Newman's Own products. Newman's Own® Organics, founded by Paul's daughter Nell Newman, offers a wide array of delicious organic products, www.newmansownorganics.com.