CHICAGO, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- New public service advertisements (PSAs) released today by Feeding America and the Ad Council are designed to raise awareness of where families across the country can find free and nutritious meals for their children during the summer months when school isn't in session.
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Entitled "Summer Isn't Fun When You Are Hungry" the PSAs draw attention to the startling statistic that though more than 21 million children receive free and reduced price meals during the school year, only 2 million children access free meals from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Summer Food Service Programs in the summer.
"When school is in session, low-income students are assured at least one healthy meal because of the school lunch program; however, lack of access to those meals is condemning our children to summer days that are consumed with hunger, rather than fun times where they can embark on adventures that enrich and develop their minds in countless ways," said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO, Feeding America. "The Summer Meals PSA campaign is an important way to reach families with the critical information they need to ensure their children have access to nutritious meals where they live, learn and play."
The emotionally charged PSAs leverage TV, radio and outdoor advertisements in an effort to direct families in need to contact their local food bank for help or visit FeedingAmerica.org/SummerMeals to find more information on the program in their area. The campaign was created by San Francisco - based ad agency Cutwater, with production and distribution funded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation, Feeding America's Leadership Partner in the fight to end child hunger. The ConAgra Foods Foundation has been the first to fund many Feeding America initiatives, including the national expansion of the afterschool program "Kids' Café," "Map the Meal Gap" county-level child hunger data, and the expansion of the summer food service program "Hunger Free Summer."
Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council, added: "These PSAs will enable Feeding America food banks to provide families across the country seamless access to meals throughout the summer months. We encourage media to support them so millions of children can 'stop worrying about food, and start focusing on fun' this summer."
This PSA campaign highlights the harsh reality that millions of children aren't sure where they'll get their next meal when the final school bell rings. The PSAs clearly make the point that "summer isn't fun when you're hungry" by showing children sitting out of normal summer activities because they are hungry, wishing that they were back in school so that they could get a regular meal.
"As a father, I can't imagine kids who would rather be in school or couldn't participate in the simple joys of summer because they were hungry. Yet so many do," said Chuck McBride, Founder and Executive Creative Director at Cutwater. "This simple, compelling truth was the foundation of our execution. All we had to do is tell that story and keep it real."
Per the Ad Council model, the localized PSAs will run and air in advertising time that is donated by the media. These PSAs are part of the national Hunger Prevention campaign, which has received more than $135 million worth of donated media since its launch in November 2008. The campaign aims to increase the social consciousness of hunger in the U.S., while diminishing the stereotypes about those who are hungry in America.
About Feeding America
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 63,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit feedingamerica.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow our news on Twitter at twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.
About the Advertising Council
The Ad Council is a non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling 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 effected, and continues to effect, 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.
About ConAgra Foods Foundation
The ConAgra Foods Foundation, through its Nourish Today, Flourish Tomorrow platform, is dedicated to raising awareness of the more than 16 million children in America who are at risk of hunger and don't have enough food to live active, healthful lives. It aggressively pursues sustainable solutions in the fight against child hunger. And the Foundation is committed to building a community of people who are passionate about ensuring that all kids have access to the food and facts they need to eat nutritiously while living balanced lifestyles and succeeding in school and life. ConAgra Foods Foundation invests in national and local partnerships with high-impact, not-for-profit organizations, such as Feeding America, that take an innovative approach to addressing needs in the core areas of hunger and nutrition education. For more information, please visit www.conagrafoodsfoundation.org or www.facebook.com/ConAgraFoodsFoundation. The ConAgra Foods Foundation is funded solely by ConAgra Foods.
Cutwater is an independent ad agency and proud of it. We are brilliant at developing cultural insights that attract an audience though iconic brand stories. Our shop is headquartered in San Francisco. Cutwater is guided by the creative and cultural vision of Chuck McBride, in partnership with Principals Christian Hughes and Travis Britton. Cutwater clients include: CoolSculpting, Easton, Ubisoft and Feeding America, among others. www.cutwatersf.com
SOURCE Ad Council