ATLANTA and CHICAGO, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Throughout the past four weeks, AutoTrader.com, participating Chevrolet dealerships, two Major League Baseball teams and two pitching greats teamed up to "Drive Away Hunger" in both the Atlanta and Chicagoland areas. This year's second annual Drive Away Hunger campaign, which aimed to raise funds and collect food for local food banks in both communities, raised more than $80,000 and over 25,000 pounds of food.
Hunger is a silent epidemic, and community food banks across the country continue to report a rise in demand for food. As a partner of the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) for several years, AutoTrader.com joined together with other long-time partners to create the Drive Away Hunger program in 2010. This year, the Drive Away Hunger campaign was extended from two weeks to four weeks, and reached the Chicago community in addition to Atlanta, providing support to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and neighboring food banks in northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.
This year, baseball greats John Smoltz (former Atlanta Braves pitcher) and Kerry Wood (current Chicago Cubs relief pitcher) joined the effort to help their respective communities in driving away hunger. Smoltz has been an active hunger advocate with a strong relationship with the ACFB for nearly 20 years, and Wood is a long-time community advocate in Chicago, where he launched the Wood Family Foundation to benefit children's charities throughout the Chicagoland area.
"Time and time again, AutoTrader.com has proven to be an amazing partner for us in this important effort," said Bill Bolling, executive director of the ACFB. "Many Georgians are still desperately in need of food assistance, and it's an honor to work with all of our partner groups to help lead the fight against hunger. We're so pleased with these fantastic results and know that we're one step closer to truly driving away hunger."
As part of this campaign, Atlanta and Chicago-area residents were able to turn 10 cans of food into a ticket voucher to a specific Braves or Cubs game and test drives of new Chevrolet vehicles into a chance to win a VIP experience at that game in each city. Donations were accepted at participating Georgia Best Chevy dealerships from Aug. 12 to Sept. 10 and at participating Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy dealerships from Aug. 19 to Sept. 17. Also, AutoTrader.com donated $10 to the local food bank for every test drive of new Chevy vehicles during these dates. The efforts culminated in Braves and Cubs games on Sept. 16 and 20, respectively, providing a final opportunity for community members to bring in cans of food and add to the total amount of food raised.
"We're so grateful to all of our partners for their support, and are thrilled about the impact that the Drive Away Hunger program has already had on our community," said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. "In four short weeks, we've managed to raise awareness around the issue of hunger and raise significant donations for those truly in need."
"At AutoTrader.com, we are committed to serving the communities in which we live and work, and we are just so thrilled to have joined together with John Smoltz, Kerry Wood and our partners in Chevrolet, the Braves, the Cubs and the local food banks to make this program successful," said AutoTrader.com Director of Community Relations Michele Blondheim. "Together, we are proud of how much food, funds and awareness the Drive Away Hunger program raised in Atlanta and Chicago, and we look forward to continuing to create impactful and engaging ways to support important causes in our communities."
For more information about the Drive Away Hunger program, visit autotrader.com/driveawayhunger.
Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com, created in 1997, is the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. AutoTrader.com continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, AutoTrader.com attracts more than 15 million unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. AutoTrader.com operates two other auto marketing brands, AutoTraderClassics.com and AutoTraderLatino.com. AutoTrader.com also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto, Kelley Blue Book (Kbb.com), HomeNet Automotive, a leading provider of online inventory management and merchandising solutions for the automotive retail industry and VinSolutions, a leading provider of end-to-end solution platforms for dealers. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.
About the Atlanta Community Food Bank
The Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) began operating in 1979 in a small space at St. Luke's Church, and now distributes over 20 million pounds of food and grocery products each year from a 129,600 square-foot facility in N.W. Atlanta. This product is utilized by more than 700 partner nonprofits that provide food assistance to families and individuals in 38 counties in metro Atlanta and North Georgia. ACFB leads seven distinct projects that reinforce its mission to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering our community: Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, Atlanta's Table, Community Gardens, Hunger 101, Hunger Walk/Run, Kids In Need and the Product Rescue Center.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank – along with more than 200 Feeding America member food banks in cities across the country – is mobilizing the public throughout the month of September, which is Hunger Action Month. You can take action by visiting the Atlanta Community Food Bank's 30 Ways in 30 Days calendar at http://www.acfb.org/ham/. The calendar offers a different hunger-fighting opportunity for each day in September including AutoTrader.com's Drive Away Hunger campaign.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago's food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. The Food Depository distributes donated and purchased food through a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to 678,000 adults and children in Cook County every year. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 69 million pounds of nonperishable food and fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 140,000 meals every day. The Food Depository's programs and services for children, older adults and the unemployed and underemployed address the root causes of hunger. For more information, log onto chicagosfoodbank.org or call 773-247-FOOD.