The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service reported earlier this week that more than 50 million Americans, including 17 million children, live in hunger. The 2009 report on Household Food Insecurity in the United States illustrates how the issue of hunger is affecting our country. To raise national awareness among adults about the growing problem of hunger, Feeding America and the Ad Council today announced the launch of a new series of national public service advertisements (PSAs) featuring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and other actors, designed to motivate Americans to get involved in the fight against hunger.
“The USDA report confirms what we already know—that domestic hunger is still on the rise,” remarked Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America. “On behalf of our food banks who have been working tirelessly to feed people in need, we thank our Entertainment Council members, our numerous celebrity friends and the Ad Council for helping us bring national awareness to the growing problem of hunger.”
Created pro bono by Cutwater, the new television PSAs also feature Taye Diggs and Ana Ortiz, who portray the real stories of Americans affected by hunger. The goal of the campaign is to increase the social consciousness of hunger in the U.S., while diminishing the stereotypes about those who are hungry in America. The TV, print, outdoor and web PSAs direct audiences to visit feedingamerica.org for ways to help and to find their community’s food bank. A Spanish-language TV PSA is also available.
“I was thrilled to team up with Feeding America and the Ad Council to play a role in revealing a problem that so many Americans face: figuring out where to find their next meal. I would encourage everyone to get involved in the fight against hunger to help those who are less fortunate in our communities,” said Actress Ana Ortiz.
“Feeding America and the Ad Council enabled me to play a small part in raising awareness about hunger in America, so the hardworking people in our communities will not go hungry. By reaching out to your local food bank you too can make a difference for those struggling with hunger,” said Actor Taye Diggs.
“Research continues to reveal the astounding number of our neighbors that continue to struggle with hunger in America,” according to Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of The Advertising Council. “We are proud to partner with Feeding America and the talent that generously donated their time for the PSAs to shed light on this critical issue. We hope that Americans throughout the country will be motivated to reach out to their local food banks to help those in need.”
Beginning this week, an integrated social media program will extend the reach of the PSA campaign on popular social networking sites and blogs.
“We are compelled, obliged, even humbled, especially during these hard times, to be partnering with Feeding America,” said Chuck McBride, Co-President & Chief Creative Officer of Cutwater. “By raising the collective consciousness of hunger with an engaging message of proximity and participation, we feel we can turn the tide on a threat that even the most skeptical person believes shouldn’t exist in this country.”
Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will be distributed to media outlets nationwide this week and 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 $68 million worth of donated media since its launch in November 2008. Additional media will be launched in early 2011.
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 61,000 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 http://www.feedingamerica.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow our news on Twitter at twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.
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.
Cutwater has always been recognized as one of the best creative shops in town — consistently honored in award shows, and consistently producing surprising campaigns around the world. This combined with a depth of strategic and new media thinking has allowed us to build some pretty amazing success stories in a very short period of time.