MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Tim Pawlenty issued a proclamation today officially declaring Jan. 8 Minnesota's "Kick Hunger Day." This announcement was made on "Good Morning Minnesota," Governor Pawlenty's weekly radio show, broadcast throughout the upper-Midwest, during the first-ever "Let's Kick Hunger" Radiothon. The radiothon is designed to raise money for local and national food banks with 100 percent of proceeds going directly to those in need.
"Since 1992, Taste of the NFL has distributed more than $10 million toward hunger assistance and today's radiothon aims to promote a call-to-action, asking people to stop and reflect on what they can do on Kick Hunger Day to help those in need," said Wayne Kostroski, founder and executive director of Taste of the NFL.
Hunger in America has increased by 36 percent over the past year, with a record one in seven Americans struggling to put enough food on the table, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Local hunger-relief organization Second Harvest Heartland states demand for food is up 40 percent in its 59-county service area in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
"Despite our best efforts and the incredibly admirable efforts of countless organizations and individuals throughout the Heartland, there are still far too many people going to bed hungry at night," said Rob Zeaske, executive director of Second Harvest Heartland. "But fundraisers like 'Let's Kick Hunger Day' offer a great opportunity for the entire community to band together in an effort to end hunger once and for all, both here at home and across the country. And because Second Harvest Heartland can distribute $9 worth of donated groceries with a $1 donation, even the smallest donation can have a big impact."
The Let's Kick Hunger Day Radiothon, hosted by News Radio 830 WCCO, will start the New Year with a big push to stock food banks that benefit from donations by Taste of the NFL. Second Harvest Heartland, the upper Midwest's largest food bank, will receive 50 percent of the net proceeds and the remaining 50 percent will be donated to Taste of the NFL to allocate to food banks in the organization's 31 NFL markets.
The 13-hour radiothon is taking place at Mall of America in the Best Buy® Rotunda until 6:30 p.m. with celebrity guest interviews throughout the day including Chef Bobby Flay, Randall McDaniel, Matt Blair, Roger Staubach, Allison Sweeney and 2009 Miss America Katie Stam.
To help kick hunger, call 952-886-HERO, toll-free at 877-886-4376 or go online at www.LetsKickHungerDay.com. Volunteers from Cargill, Land O'Lakes, General Mills and Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School will be on hand to take calls from donors.
About Taste of the NFL
Hunger Related Events (HRE) is a 501 c 3 that serves as the governing body of the Taste of the NFL and exists to raise awareness and dollars for hunger relief organizations involved in tackling hunger in America. Taste of the NFL addresses the needs of the hungry and homeless by raising awareness and money through special events and programs. Founded in 1992, the Minneapolis-based Taste of the NFL has distributed more than $8 million to local and national food banks across the country. For more information, visit www.TasteoftheNFL.com.
About Second Harvest Heartland
Second Harvest Heartland is the Upper Midwest's largest hunger-relief organization, with a mission of ending hunger through community partnerships. A record 50 million pounds of grocery products were distributed in 2009 to hungry seniors, families and children through nearly 1,000 non-profit member agencies and programs, including food shelves, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers, faith-based organizations, and children's after-school programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For each $1 donated, Second Harvest Heartland can distribute more than $9 worth of donated grocery products for those in need. For more information, visit www.2harvest.org or call 651.484.5117.
SOURCE Taste of the NFL