Tuesday, October 4, 2011

KGO Radio Fights Hunger Day Moves Community to Raise Nearly $200,000 (and counting) to Support Bay Area Food Banks

With 1 in 4 children and 1 in 5 adults in the Bay Area at risk of hunger, KGO Radio and Bay Area Food Banks joined forces for the first annual KGO Fights Hunger Day Radio-a-thon on September 16, 2011, to raise awareness and much-needed funds to alleviate hunger in the Bay Area.

KGO Newstalk 810 aired special programming about the realities of hunger throughout the day long broadcast, all designed to motivate people to make a donation to support Bay Area Food Banks.  KGO listeners responded with heartfelt enthusiasm. To date, nearly 200,000 has been raised to fight hunger in the Bay Area through this inaugural campaign.

For every $1 received, Bay Area Food Banks can distribute an average of $4 worth of food.

Listeners heard from Food Bank clients around the Bay Area, including several families who, despite having two working adults, still struggle to provide healthy food for their children.  Under pressure from underemployment and the rising cost of living in the Bay Area, these clients have turned to food banks to ensure that they have enough food for their families until the next paycheck.  The stories inspired callers from around the Bay to share their own struggles with hunger. 

The message that KGO shared was simple, yet powerful: Hunger can happen to any of us -- and it takes all of us working together to make sure everyone has enough to eat.

KGO’s on-air personalities including Jennifer Jones Lee, Ronn Owens, Gil Gross kept the focus on hunger throughout the day, and KGO reporters Jeffrey Schaub and Rob Artigo aired interviews and poignant profiles of food bank clients from all walks of life.  Many of the people who turn to the food banks for assistance are working, yet struggle to get by.  After paying for housing, transportation, childcare and health care, there’s not much money left to put toward healthy food.

“There are hundreds of thousands of adults, children and seniors in our community who simply cannot make ends meet and are faced with the realities of hunger,” said Paul Ash, Executive Director of the San Francisco Food Bank. “Many people don’t realize the scope of hunger here in the Bay Area. The awareness generated by KGO and the money that has been donated by KGO listeners will make a tremendous difference in our efforts to fight hunger, and we are deeply grateful for their support.”

Bay Area Food Banks is a collaboration of eight local food banks  that serve over 600,000 people in 11 northern California counties each month.  Through 1,560 food pantries, children's programs, shelters, soup kitchens, residential programs, and other emergency food providers, Bay Area Food Banks distributes 142 million pounds of food each year. With respect and compassion the Food Banks serve anyone in need.

“I am so proud of what our listeners and staff was able to accomplish in just 14 hours.” Said Jack Swanson KGO Operations Director “this was an eye-opening experience for all of us and we all now know how much these vital services are needed in our community.”