NEW YORK — Food and football seem always to go hand in hand. So does a competitive nature. Now, the NFL and the General Mills Foundation are putting these two ideas together for the good of local food banks.
The Kick Hunger Challenge is an online fundraising campaign spearheaded by Taste of the NFL that pits fans from all 32 NFL teams against each other in a “friendly competition” to raise money for food banks in NFL communities nationwide.
To kick-start the campaign, the General Mills Foundation committed the first $100,000 donation with a challenge to all fans to match their amount during the football season. The donation will already provide in excess of 20,000 meals for each of the 33 food banks – one in each NFL city, and the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank in the Hall of Fame city of Canton, OH.
Pittsburgh Steelers fans are proving early on they are die-hards in the stands and in the supporting their community. A quarter of the way through the regular season, the Steelers have a sizable lead over the rest of the 31 NFL teams, with over $2,000 cast toward support the Pittsburgh food bank. In total, the Kick Hunger Challenge is more than half way to reaching their $200,000 goal.
Kick Hunger Challenge participants receive e-mails throughout the season, letting them know how their team is doing compared with others across the league, especially against rival teams.
The “Kick Hunger Challenge Champion” will be announced during Super Bowl week.
Individual teams are also working to support food bank shortages in their cities. The Houston Texans, the Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis Rams are a handful of NFL teams that are holding “Taste of” Events, highlighting local tastes prepared by local chefs, with proceeds going back to food banks in their respective cities.
The Taste of the NFL is a 501(c)(3) that exists to raise awareness and dollars for hunger relief organizations involved in tackling hunger in America. Proudly celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011, the organization conducts nationals and local fundraising events throughout the year to raise money to combat hunger issues facing millions of Americans. Within its two decades of work, the Minneapolis-based Taste of the NFL has raised more than $11 million for this critically important cause.
The General Mills Foundation, celebrating 57 years of giving, awarded nearly $120 million to communities in 2011 alone to communities across the country, focusing on issues related to hunger and nutrition wellness.
As listed on the Taste of the NFL website, the statistics on hunger in America are as follows:
- One in eight Americans now rely on Feeding America for food and groceries.
- Feeding America’s network of food banks is feeding 1 million more Americans each week than in 2006.
- 36% of the households served have at least one person working (confirming that those in need are not just the unemployed or homeless).
- 46% of the households served report having to choose between paying for utilities or heat over food.
- The number of children Feeding America serves increased by 50 percent since 2006 to 14 million.
For their efforts in reducing hunger in America, we salute the NFL with a gold star and thank them for their continued efforts.
- To participate in the Kick Hunger Challenge, fans can log into www.kickhungerchallenge.com to make a donation of any amount ($10 and up) in the name of their favorite team. 100% of that donation will be given to the local food bank paired with that team.
Copyright © 2011 The Good in Sports, Inc. All rights reserved.