Hunger can live next door: 1 in 5 children in America face hunger

Unilever Project Sunlight joins forces with actor and child advocate Josh Duhamel to rally America to "Share a Meal" and turn the tables on child hunger in partnership with Feeding America®

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ (October 13, 2014) — Think the little girl next door has all she needs to eat? Think again.

Child hunger, often perceived to be a world-away issue, is now an all too common reality facing millions of America’s most vulnerable. As incredible as it seems for many living in the land of plenty, an estimated 16 million children under 18 years old live in “food insecure” households which means they don’t know where – or when – their next meal will be.

Now, dad turned child advocate, Josh Duhamel, is joining forces with Unilever Project Sunlight and Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, to launch a nationwide initiative to raise awareness for this issue that hits close to home by rallying friends and families to “Share A Meal” to turn the tables on child hunger in America.

“As a father, it’s inconceivable to me that the kids I see on the playground, or in my neighborhood, could be from a home that doesn’t have enough food on the table,” said Duhamel. “I’ve joined Unilever Project Sunlight to bring awareness to the critical issue of child hunger in America, and to demonstrate how together we can help solve this problem if we all do our part.”

Unilever Project Sunlight is an initiative focused on encouraging people to create a brighter future for children – by taking small steps to live sustainably, use less and share even more. Award-winning filmmaker and Unilever Bright Future Award recipient, Patrick Creadon, teamed up with Unilever to create a heart-wrenching and inspiring look at how Americans are grappling with child hunger in a four-minute documentary, “Going to Bed Hungry: The Changing Face of Child Hunger.”

“What struck me the most in meeting these families and creating this film is how quickly people – our neighbors – can go from being the helpers to being those in need of help,” said Creadon. “Going beyond donating – to sharing a meal or a moment of support – truly underscores that this is an issue that touches us all in every community in every pocket of this country. These are our children.”

To view the documentary and find out what you can do to share a meal this holiday season, go to ProjectSunlight.us. There you can download the Unilever Share A Meal Toolkit to learn more about the power of a shared meal and get involved in one of the following ways:

  • Help a Family in Your Neighborhood: Simply sharing a meal with a neighbor either in the form of a simple lunch or dinner party, or even packing an extra lunch for your child to take to school, could go a long way.
  • Partner with Local Organizations: Local community organizations are great resources for sharing a meal in your area – simply tap into their networks to see how you can help.
  • Coordinate with Your Local Food Bank: Whether you wish to volunteer or host your own local food drive, use Feeding America’s online Food Bank Locator tool to get in touch with a food bank in your area.
  • Host a Virtual Food Drive: Feeding America’s Personal Fundraiser tool is a great place to start and to reach out to friends, family, and colleagues for contributions.
  • Donate: Consider swapping a night out with a night in and share those extra savings with children and families in need in the form of a donation to Feeding America.
  • You Buy One, We Give One: Look for the Unilever “You Buy One, We Give One” coupon offer in the Sunday paper on November 16. Redeem at participating stores from November 16 – 30 and Unilever will donate one meal* to Feeding America when you purchase any participating Unilever product.
  • Lend Your Voice: Inspire others by revealing why you’re helping to end child hunger on social media using, “I #ShareAMeal because…”

The Unilever Commitment to Fighting Child Hunger

To help fight the issue of child hunger in the U.S., Unilever has partnered with the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, which serves 12 million children each year.

With the help of Feeding America’s vast network of 200 food banks nationwide, Unilever has been able to contribute nearly 30 million meals** to families and children over the past five years which includes more than 13 million pounds of food and more than $3 million in support.

“Project Sunlight was started on the premise of encouraging people to take small steps toward creating a brighter future for children, and we truly believe that small actions can add up to a big impact,” said Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever, North America. “Unilever has a responsibility to be a part of the solution to this solvable problem, which is why we are rallying not only our consumers, but also our partners, retailers and employees to prove that there is power in numbers to help end child hunger in America.”

Launched in November 2013, Unilever Project Sunlight embodies the consumer product company’s global mission – the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan – that encourages people to take small steps that together make a big difference toward building a brighter future for children. The initiative is made up of a growing community of people who believe in a world where everyone has enough food to eat and no child goes to bed hungry.

*$1 helps provide 9 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local food banks. $0.111 from each qualifying coupon redemption will be donated to Feeding America. Unilever guarantees a minimum donation of $150,000 and a maximum donation of $200,000 from 11/16/14 to 11/30/14 date through the redemption of each coupon. Meal claims valid as of 5/29/14 through 12/31/14. Limit 1 per person, per household.

** Aggregate number of total meals donated calculated by Unilever based on cash and product donations made over the past five years using the following calculations to help provide meals: 2010: $1 = 7 meals; 2011/2012: $1 = 8 meals; 2013/2014: $1 =9 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks. Pounds calculated using the USDA calculation of 1.2 pounds is the equivalent to one meal.

About Feeding America

Feeding America is a 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 food pantries and meal programs in communities throughout 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 http://www.feedingamerica.org/. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.

About Project Sunlight

Project Sunlight is a long-term Unilever initiative to motivate millions of people to live more sustainably by inspiring them to build a brighter future for children. It aims to create a growing community of people who believe it is possible to build a world where everyone lives well and sustainably, without compromising the needs of future generations. In 2013, Project Sunlight helped create a brighter future for two million children in US, UK, Brazil, India and Indonesia. To date, it has also inspired over 136 million people worldwide to commit to living more sustainably by visiting www.projectsunlight.us and making an “act of sunlight” pledge.

About Unilever United States, Inc.

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in more than 190 countries. Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. In the United States, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Fruttare, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-tips, Simple, St. Ives, Suave, TIGI, TONI&GUY Hair Meet Wardrobe, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, while reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined seven pillars, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at http://www.unileverusa.com/sustainable-living/.

Unilever employs approximately 10,000 people in the United States – generating nearly $9 billion in sales in 2013. For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com

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Jennifer Parsons

212-445-8246
jparsons@webershandwick.com

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