Once homeless, Rachel Cabrales knows what it is like to be hungry, and she is now helping others in need as the grand-prize winner of a national contest called the Mermaid Jingle for Feeding America – the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization.
With Cabrales' win comes $100,000 worth of Chicken of the Sea seafood that will be donated to her local food bank, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, which is a member food bank of Feeding America. The food bank will distribute the seafood among 450 partner programs.
The Mermaid Jingle Jam contest for Feeding America is a result of a partnership between Chicken of the Sea International and Feeding America. Contestants were asked to develop a 30- to 90-second jingle and video that incorporates Chicken of the Sea's original jingle lyrics and a new verse using key themes such as health, convenience, quality of life and dietary requirements, including the fact that leading health authorities recommend eating seafood twice a week.
Cabrales was determined the winner among 36 finalists after a three week public voting period in which nearly 230,000 votes were cast; 84,793 votes were cast for Cabrales.
As the winner, Cabrales – who entered with her family and whose video features her 4-year-old son, Richie – not only earned healthful seafood for her local food bank, but also a celebrity-style trip to Los Angeles. While she entered the contest as a bonding activity for her and her son, Cabrales said she is happy to help others.
"I can relate to those who are hungry because I've been there," said Cabrales."It's the best feeling in the world to be able to give back."
Sara Waggoner, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, said the whole community came together during the contest.
"It's well known around here that our food donations are down. We are so grateful that we'll be able to offer those in need such a high-quality source of protein at a time when requests for food are at a 10-year high," said Waggoner.
John Sawyer, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Chicken of the Sea, said that while the contest has been fun, it also has a serious message.
"This contest is about raising awareness of the issue of hunger in America and the numerous health benefits of incorporating seafood into the diet," said Sawyer."We look forward to delivering our high-quality protein that is packed full of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and low in fat and calories to those who can greatly benefit from its nutrition benefits."
Cabrales' video, along with the top 10 finalists' videos, can be viewed at MermaidJingleJam.com.
A seafood category leader, Chicken of the Sea provides a variety of shelf-stable seafood products, including tuna, salmon, crab, shrimp, oysters, clams, mackerel and sardines. The Chicken of the Sea brand and famous Mermaid icon are among the most recognized brands in America.
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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 40 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. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.