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ConAgra Foods Partners with Feeding America

ConAgra Foods Partners with Feeding America

In the News

April 25, 2010

According to the USDA, currently nearly 17 million kids in the United States – that’s nearly one in four children in this country – don’t get enough food to live active, healthful lives. Unfortunately, with the current state of the economy, more and more people have to rely on local food banks to help feed their families. 

That’s why ConAgra Foods has partnered with Feeding America, the nation's leading hunger-relief organization, in launching its Child Hunger Ends Here (CHEH) Neighborhood Rally campaign. The program, which kicked off on the set of ABC television's Desperate Housewives earlier in the month, offers supermarket retailers a unique opportunity to get involved with their communities. 

Children don't need to be starving or homeless to be malnourished or struggling with hunger – many children are simply missing a meal or not eating on a regular basis. This means that millions of kids go to school with a hunger that holds them back. Children struggling with hunger can often lose focus in school and lack the power to learn. 

“In February, we released Hunger in America 2010, the largest study of domestic hunger. The greatest take away from the report is that hunger in our country is increasing at an alarming rate and that our clients are making tough choices – having to choose between food and other basic needs like rent, medical bills and heat. Great strides are being made to meet the need, but there is still much more that needs to be done,” says Karen Hanner, Feeding America’s Vice President of Cause Marketing. 

Kori Reed, Executive Director of the ConAgra Foods Foundation, agrees. “The issue of child hunger is a hidden problem: you can’t always immediately see the difference between a child who went to bed hungry and a child who ate three-well balanced meals. Even if their hunger is only temporary, its impact can last a lifetime. So it’s critical that we rally to end child hunger here and now.”

There are many ways for supermarket retailers to get involved in the campaign, and hosting a Child Hunger Ends Here Neighborhood Rally is a great place to start. Creating an event with employees, turning an existing employee bake sale or rummage sale into a rally to support Feeding America or collecting monetary donations in stores are all ways retailers can help fight local hunger. 

“Organizing food drives or volunteer events can be a fairly easy, turnkey process but we always encourage retailers to work directly with their local food bank to see what the need is and how local businesses and others can best support the needs of those in the community. Retailers can play a role by making their employees and shoppers aware of the problem in their communities and how they can support it locally with their area Feeding America food bank,” says Reed.

Retailers can also promote ConAgra Foods brands within stores. For every purchase of a participating ConAgra Foods brand through the end of May, one meal will be donated to Feeding America to help end child hunger – up to 2.5 million meals in 2010. Participating ConAgra Foods brands include Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Manwich, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s and Peter Pan Peanut Butter.

So far, Reed says that consumer response to the campaign has been encouraging, and that retailer involvement has been an indication of corporate responsibility.

“Our goal was to drive awareness and support of this issue and, to date, we’ve had 1,000 Child Hunger Ends Here House Parties in homes across the U.S., which drew more than 12,000 people out in support of the cause, and more than 400 rallies have been registered to date online, with combined anticipated attendance of more than 50,000 people,” says Reed.

Reed encourages more people to register their rallies – atwww.childhungerendshere.com – and help support overcoming child hunger in their communities. 

“It really can be as simple as donating a portion of proceeds from a yard sale or a bake sale – one company had a ‘car cleaning’ rally and asked all employees to clean out the loose change from their cars to donate to Feeding America,” says Reed.

Hanner adds, “Children are the future. We need to unite in the fight to make sure children in America receive the healthful, consistent meals necessary to survive – and thrive.”

Download tips on how to get involved with the program here:
http://www.childhungerendshere.com/Public/Neighborhood_Rally_Guide.pdf