ELWOOD, Ind., Sept. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- This October, when families sit down to share a Red Gold family meal, they will also be helping the 1 in 8 households suffering from hunger in the U.S. to do the same. Through the Red Gold 'Families Helping Families' Crush Hunger campaign, a partnership with the nation's largest hunger-relief organization, Feeding America®, Red Gold is harnessing the power of the family meal to help others in need. For each Red Gold canned tomato product (Redpack, Sacramento and Tuttorosso) purchased in the month of October, Red Gold will donate one meal* to people in need – with a goal of providing 1.7 million meals to Feeding America food banks nationwide.
While the family meal has always been part of the American culture, according to new Red Gold research, a majority of parents are now using the family meal as the moment to teach, inspire and talk to their children about important issues like hunger, poverty and giving back to others in need. In fact, more than 80 percent of parents said they would be willing to take the time to share a family meal or use a new recipe or ingredient if they knew it could help provide for families in need. Yet, for too many Americans – 42.2 million - the ability to share a family meal is a daily struggle.
"As a family-owned company, Red Gold was founded on the idea of helping to supply food for the troops in 1942, and four generations later - we are continuing our commitment to caring for communities through the 'Crush Hunger' campaign," said Selita Reichart, Senior Vice President, Red Gold Tomatoes. "While we've always known the power of the family meal, our survey results show that a majority of parents not only take the time to have a family meal but use it as an opportunity to have meaningful conversations about helping others. If we can help families strengthen their bonds, while also helping others in need, we have achieved success."
Kicking-off the month-long initiative, Red Gold is donating 23 tons of Red Gold tomato products to the Baton Rouge area devastated by flooding earlier this year. With thousands of people affected by the flooding and displaced from their homes, food assistance for disaster victims is still a critical need. Red Gold is partnering with Nan Kelley, Great American Country personality and Red Gold representative, and Mike Manning, president and chief executive office of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, to raise awareness of the continued need in the area and provide perspective on the depth of issues the Baton Rouge community continues to face.
"One in eight people in America struggles with hunger, including 13 million children. Every day, the Feeding America network works hard to help families who may not know where they will find their next meal. We are thankful to Red Gold for its commitment to ending hunger and support of children and families in need through its Crush Hunger promotion," said Nancy Curby, interim senior vice president of development at Feeding America.
As part of the campaign, Red Gold is collaborating with celebrity chef, YouTube personality and host of the Cooking Channel's "Simply Laura", Laura Vitale. Vitale will lend her culinary expertise, tips and simple approach to cooking to help parents create easy, affordable meals to share with their families during October and beyond. Vitale, a self-taught cook with a passion for food, developed her love for cooking from her grandmother and started her cooking journey working with her father in their family restaurant. When the economy forced their restaurant to close, Laura turned to YouTube and continued to share her passion for food. She quickly became an Internet sensation who is known for her simple yet delicious recipes that anyone can make.
"Growing up in a large family in Italy, the dinner table has always been more than a place to share meals – it was a place to share stories, make memories and have meaningful conversations. It's shocking to know that nearly 11 million households don't have that same experience because they don't have enough to eat," said Laura Vitale. "I'm excited to be partnering with Red Gold on this important initiative, and spreading the word that the simple act of making a delicious meal and sharing it with your friends and family can benefit someone in need this October."
To help spread the word, families are also encouraged to join the conversation on social media by sharing a family meal experience or how they help crush hunger via Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter using the hashtag #HelpCrushHunger. Each week, Red Gold will select winners who will receive a Red Gold meal kit and a $100 donation in their name to their local food bank.
Tips for Making Your Family Meal Meaningful:
To help families everywhere share a family meal and make the most out of their time together, Red Gold is offering the following tips:
- Keep It Simple: Make Family Meals Stress Free. You don't need to have a five course meal to get your family around the table! On busy nights filled with sports, band practice, dance rehearsals or longer than expected days in the office, rely on flexibility, early preparation and simple recipes to help you prepare a meal that you and your family will love. Visit helpcrushhunger.com during the month of October for a family and budget friendly meal recipe by Laura Vitale.
- Feed The Discussion: Educate, Inspire and Eat. Take advantage of this opportunity to touch base with family members and educate and inspire your children on issues impacting your community and the country. Make your family meal a technology-free zone (i.e. no phones, TVs, computers, etc.) to encourage an active and engaged dialogue. Use conversation starters to help jumpstart your discussion about helping others and don't be afraid to ask questions to get your kids thinking.
- Take it Beyond the Kitchen Table: From Conversation to Activation. Once you have these discussions, it is important to help your kids take action. Participate in Red Gold's Crush Hunger campaign, join the conversation on social media or donate/volunteer at your local food bank.
Visit Red Gold's "Crush Hunger" website at HelpCrushHunger.com to access additional information about the campaign including Laura Vitale's recipe, tips for sharing a family meal, the Crush Hunger video and infographic and to learn more about how you can help crush hunger in your community. Stay up-to-date on the campaign by following Red Gold Tomatoes and #HelpCrushHunger on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
* For each can purchased, Red Gold will donate 1 meal (the monetary equivalent of $.09 cents) to Feeding America in support of families facing hunger. Red Gold guarantees a minimum contribution of $150,000 (1.7 million meals) by 11/30/2016. $1 helps provide 11 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.
About Red Gold
For four generations, the Reichart family has been producing Red Gold premium quality tomato products. Red Gold was founded on the idea of helping to supply food for the troops in 1942. Red Gold sustainably produces premium quality canned tomatoes, ketchup, and tomato-based products for the retail, foodservice, private brand, and club channels of distribution. Exceptional quality and operational excellence are the shared values that contributed to the employee-created mission statement: "To produce the freshest, best tasting tomato products in the world." Visit www.RedGoldTomatoes.com for great recipes, tips and culinary inspiration!
About Feeding America
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.
Katy Frame, BRG Communications
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SOURCE Red Gold