Feeding America Asks You to Give a Meal This Holiday Season

November 15, 2011

Instead of another tie or bathrobe, give your friends and loved ones a chance to help Feeding America feed people facing hunger this holiday season and throughout the year.

Give a Meal, which launches today, gives holiday shoppers a chance to support a great cause by helping provide food to the nearly 49 million Americans who struggle with hunger. Every $1 donated to the Give a Meal campaign helps provide eight meals to people in need.

"The holidays are a perfect time to give a gift that can make a difference in someone's life," said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America."With Give a Meal, even a small donation will go a long way in helping make sure that people have something to eat this holiday season."

Emmy Award winning talk show host Rachael Ray will serve as the first celebrity ambassador for the campaign. Her Yum-o! Organization has committed a matching grant to Feeding America's Produce Program in conjunction with the campaign.

Bank of America is the campaign's signature partner and for every $1 donated via http://feedingamerica.org/BankofAmerica or http://bankofamerica.com/give, the bank will contribute an additional $2, up to a total match of $500,000. This is in addition to a one million dollar contribution to Feeding America.

"With one out of six Americans struggling to find their next meal, ensuring that vulnerable populations have access to basic needs such as food is a critical component to revitalizing our nation's economy," said Kerry Sullivan, President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation."In response to this crisis, nonprofit organizations like Feeding America play a crucial role to help individuals and families gain stability through vital programs and services, which ultimately strengthens communities across the U.S. This holiday season, we are thrilled to partner with Feeding America once again to help feed those at risk of hunger."

Rachael Ray's match will help provide fresh fruits and vegetables to Americans struggling with hunger. For every donation to Give a Meal, her Yum-o! Organization will make a donation to Feeding America's Produce Program, up to 2 million servings of produce. (Yum-o! has donated the monetary equivalent of up to 2 million servings of produce to Feeding America.)

"My Yum-o! Organization has been a part of the fight against childhood hunger in America since 2007. We are honored to support Feeding America's campaign to ensure that millions of hungry kids have access to nutritious food," Ray said."This holiday season, give the gift of food and make it possible for Feeding America to provide meals to people struggling to put food on the table."

Give a Meal is also being backed by Feeding America Entertainment Council members, including Chef Mario Batali, host of ABC's The Chew, Australian chef and television star Curtis Stone, rock sensations Benji and Joel Madden, Entertainment Tonight correspondent Samantha Harris, Grammy Award winning singer Monica, Food Network star Ellie Krieger, chef and TV host Sara Gore, TV food critic and host Katie Lee, the platinum selling band OneRepublic, actress Debi Mazar and chef Gabriele Corcos.

The issue of hunger is especially critical during the holiday season when the need is particularly acute. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that nearly 49 million Americans are facing hunger. Of those, more than 16 million are children – or more than 1 in 5 children are at risk of hunger in this country.

Bank of America's support is part of an ongoing effort to address critical economic and social issues in the communities it serves through the bank's Gift for Opportunity™ fund, established to extend the impact of customer and employee donations made to help address the growing demand for food assistance in both large and small communities during a critical time of the year.

Along with Bank of America, a number of other corporate partners have agreed to team up with Feeding America to fight hunger this holiday season. Corporate leaders such as Dillard's, HMSHost, HoneyBaked Ham, and Winn-Dixie have all also joined the Give a Meal effort and are partnering with their customers to donate meals this holiday season.

A running counter will be displayed on the Give a Meal webpage to tally the number of meals that have been donated during the campaign.

"Fighting hunger requires a strong partnership between charities, businesses and individuals alike," Escarra said."Hunger is simply one battle we cannot afford to lose."


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About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 6.6 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Rachael Ray

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 created by Meyer, knives by Furitechnics, signature food ingredients by Colavita and lifestyle magazine Every Day 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. 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.

About the Yum-o! Organization

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, visit www.yum-o.org.

About Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 58 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,700 retail banking offices and approximately 17,750 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.