BOISE, Idaho and LOS ANGELES, Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) today announced they raised more than $5 million through in-store donations during the month of September for Hunger Is, a charitable initiative designed to raise awareness and funds to end childhood hunger in America.
This year's "Hungry for More" campaign focused on the importance of daily breakfast for children and raised donations from customers in more than 2,300 Albertsons Companies stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, ACME Markets, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs and others. With these funds, Hunger Is will meet its goal of providing five million more breakfasts this year to children in need. More than $18 million has been raised since the inception of Hunger Is in 2014, supporting local hunger-based programs throughout the country.
According to the USDA, one in five children in America struggles with hunger. This national campaign encourages communities to come together, donate and lend their time and voice to help end childhood hunger.
Hunger Is Ambassador Viola Davis continues to publicly share her compelling personal story about growing up hungry and lend her voice to the initiative's public service announcements that run on television, radio, print, out-of-home and digital media outlets. The new "Hungry for More" PSAs, featuring Davis, launched in September.
"I am so thrilled with the continued success of this vital initiative. Millions of children go to school without breakfast and I'm honored to be able to help put a dent in eradicating this issue. Every child deserves to start their day with a healthy breakfast to help them learn and live healthier," Davis said. "I am grateful to everyone who continues to donate and help spread awareness about childhood hunger in this country. Together, we have the ability to change many children's lives."
Funds raised during the Hunger Is campaigns go back to local communities in the form of grants for hunger-relief programs. This fall, Hunger Is will be inviting regional and community-based programs in Albertsons Companies' operating areas across the U.S. to submit grant proposals. Grants will be awarded to programs which have the potential to alleviate childhood hunger.
Since its inception, Hunger Is has awarded grants to more than 250 programs addressing childhood hunger. For example, New Hampshire Food Bank, a grant recipient, has distributed over 11 million pounds of food to more than 400 partner agencies throughout the state. Thanks to a Hunger Is grant, this food bank, was able to help even more people, including a low-income family of three that was able to receive a healthy supply of food that helped sustain their family, while the father received cancer treatment. Grant funding was able to help organizations like the Idaho Foodbank, which fills children's backpacks with nutritious food each Friday so that the children have nourishment, not just during the week, but also over the weekend. Northwest Harvest, in Seattle, Washington, was awarded funding to support its Three Squares Food Backpack Program and Kids Summer Food Club, ensuring more children will start the day with good nutrition this coming year. Through this program, hundreds of families were able to receive extra food bags to ensure they were all receiving the daily nutrients that they need.
Albertsons Companies' store divisions help select grant recipients in their region, in concert with the Hunger Is Advocacy Committee. The committee is comprised of leaders from the most-respected hunger advocacy organizations in the U.S., including the Center for Hunger Free Communities (Drexel University), a community-engaged research, service, advocacy and policy center; Feeding America®, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity; Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, an internationally renowned biomedical research institute focused on pediatric health; the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the U.S.; Hunger Free America, which operates the national hunger hotline and sponsors the nationwide Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps AmeriCorps VISTA program in 32 states; Share Our Strength, whose No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals; and WhyHunger, which supports grassroots solutions to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious and affordable food and building the movement for food justice. The committee provides guidance in defining priorities and addressing needs, and makes funding recommendations for approval by the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the EIF Board of Directors.
"It is exciting and humbling to see the far-reaching impact that our Hunger Is partnership with Viola Davis, EIF and our generous customers has had on childhood hunger relief in the many communities that we serve," said Christy Duncan Anderson, Executive Director of the Albertsons Companies Foundation. "Now, as we expand the initiative to focus on the most important meal of the day, we are committed to reaching even more children and helping them start each day full and ready to learn."
"The Entertainment Industry Foundation is proud to collaborate with the Albertsons Companies Foundation to be able to support children in local communities. We are grateful to have the continued support and voice of Ambassador Viola Davis, whose personal story and mission to help other children continues to inspire us all," said Lisa Paulsen, EIF President and CEO.
More information about the issue and simple ways for individuals to donate is available at HungerIs.org. For information about the fall campaign and participating brands, go to Albertsons.com/HungerIsUs.
About Hunger Is
Hunger Is, a joint charitable program of the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), is designed to build awareness and raise funds in an effort to eradicate childhood hunger in America. Funds raised through Hunger Is directly benefit programs focused on combating childhood hunger and improving health-related outcomes. For more information, visit www.HungerIs.org.
About the Albertsons Companies Foundation
Founded in 2001, the Albertsons Companies Foundation, formerly the Safeway Foundation, supports causes that impact our customers' lives. Albertsons Companies stores provide the opportunity to mobilize funding and create awareness in our neighborhoods through the generous contributions by our customers, our employees' passion and partnerships with our vendors. We focus on giving locally in the areas of health and human services, hunger relief, education and helping people with disabilities. Albertsons Companies and the Albertsons Companies Foundation have invested $2 billion in our neighborhoods since 2001. For more information about the Albertsons Companies Foundation, visit www.albertsonscompaniesfoundation.org.
About the Entertainment Industry Foundation
Founded in 1942, the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) is a multifaceted organization that occupies a unique place in the world of philanthropy. By mobilizing and leveraging the powerful voice and creative talents of the entertainment industry, as well as cultivating the support of organizations (public and private) and philanthropists committed to social responsibility, EIF builds awareness and raises funds, developing and enhancing programs on the local, national and global level that facilitate positive social change. For more information, visit www.eifoundation.org.
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