Actor Mark Salling, who unlike the bad-boy character Noah Puckerman (AKA “Puck”) that he plays on the Emmy-nominated FOX-TV series “Glee,” is a really good guy. As students across the country head back to school, Mark – presently one of America’s best known “students” — is partnering with ConAgra Foods on its “Child Hunger Ends Here” campaign to raise awareness about childhood hunger, a serious issue that, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 17 million children face nationwide. That comes out to about nearly one-in-four kids in America who struggle with hunger.
“We think of hunger as a foreign problem, but it’s huge right here in the U.S.,” says Salling. “In fact, my home state of Texas has the dubious distinction of being second in the nation with childhood hunger problems.”
In school, Salling, a self-described “waver” with baggy jeans and wild hair, was friends with everyone. So it was especially painful when he witnessed his classmates go hungry first-hand. “Kids don’t go around advertising it, but I saw it happening,” laments Salling.
Aside from that personal connection, Salling was also interested in becoming involved with a charity that made it easy for people to help out. He says there are two simple ways that schools, parents, and students can help end child hunger in their own communities:
- Food Drives – Host or participate in school-sponsored food drives to collect food to be donated to local food banks in each community
- UPCs – Help students collect UPC codes from participating ConAgra Foods brands*. For each UPC collected, ConAgra Foods will donate one meal to Feeding America – the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity.
Hunger is an especially serious issue for kids, as research shows that even mildly poor nutrition during critical periods of growth impacts their behavioral and cognitive development, and they’re likely to under-perform academically as well.
For more information, visit www.ChildHungerEndsHere.com/schools, where you can register your school and enter a contest for the chance to win a $10,000.00 dream field trip. You can also follow the discussion at www.facebook.com/ConAgraFoodsand www.twitter.com/ConAgraFoods.
* Participating brands include Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Hunt’s, Marie Callender’s, Manwich, Orville Redenbacher’s, Peter Pan and Snack Pack.