NEW YORK, June 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today in Times Square, Feeding America® and the Ad Council are sending a one-of-a-kind ice cream truck on a nine-day journey across the country to raise awareness of children facing hunger in the summer. During the school year, 22 million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program, but when school breaks for summer, less than four million children receive meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program. Instead of serving ice cream, this truck will serve as a mobile billboard travelling on a coast-to-coast mission to encourage families to join the fight against hunger.
The final bell at the end of the school year, signaling the beginning of summer vacation, is the sound many children anxiously await with excitement. However, for millions of children, summer vacation means the beginning of hungry season when millions lose access to school meals.
To drive awareness of summer hunger, Feeding America and the Ad Council have partnered to launch an integrated marketing campaign created in partnership with Facebook's Creative Shop. The truck will bid farewell from Times Square, and begin its journey from NYC to its last stop in Los Angeles. Before reaching LA on June 27, the truck will pass through five major U.S. cities along the way, including Cleveland (6/20), Chicago (6/21), St. Louis (6/22), Denver (6/23) and Las Vegas (6/26). In each city on the route, it will drive by a local food bank and stream LIVE on Facebook to showcase the incredible work being done by the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks to feed families and work to end hunger.
Before the truck takes off, it will be parked at 44th Street and 7th Avenue, near Times Square, where volunteers will hand out a Family Action Plan with simple projects to empower parents and kids to take action in the fight to end hunger. As the truck begins its journey, Viacom will feature the truck and its mission in a custom PSA to raise awareness about summer hunger on its two digital billboards in Times Square at 44th and 45th Streets.
"Hunger deprives kids of more than just food. It limits their ability to reach their full potential. On empty stomachs, kids don't have the energy to focus, learn and grow," said Catherine Davis, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Feeding America. "We think this little ice cream truck will not only help inform communities across the country that child hunger is an issue in their own backyard, but also shine a light on the amazing work our network of food banks is doing to ensure that kids have access to the food they need."
"Summer makes everyone think of warm weather, picnics and barbecues, but most people don't realize that it's an incredibly difficult time for so many kids across the country who are going hungry," said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of Ad Council. "We're so proud to be working with Feeding America and the Facebook Creative Shop to raise awareness about the millions of children who lose their access to steady meals when school lets out for the summer."
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.
About The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.
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SOURCE The Ad Council