Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Macy's and Feeding America Come Together To Table Hunger And Help Feed 10 Million in America


The nation will gather around the dinner table this fall and Come Together for special
moments with friends and family, while fighting the plight of domestic hunger. This September during Hunger Action Month, Macy’s and Feeding America will launch “Come Together,” an innovative awareness and fundraising campaign that aims to feed 10 million people suffering from hunger. Celebrating the renaissance of cooking at home, Come Together will invite the public to rally around the cause and host special dinners in their homes, but will ask their guests to pledge a donation to Feeding America in lieu of the traditional host gift. In return, Macy’s will
match these donations dollar-for-dollar until the total goal of 10 million meals is reached. To support the effort, Macy’s will launch a major awareness campaign that will include a new star-studded celebrity TV commercial, dinner parties hosted by world-renowned chefs from Macy’s Culinary Council at stores across the country, a national charity shopping day, World’s Largest Dinner Party; and a one-stop online destination at www.macys.com/cometogether that will feature recipes, dinner party fashions, invitations, themes, music and other special content to create the perfect gathering.

“In today’s environment, there are two things we know,” said Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “The first is that many American families are struggling to get by, making simple luxuries like regular dinners out more fiscally challenging. The second is that hunger is one of the most significantly impacted issues during an economic downturn. Our new initiative with Feeding America is intended to give people the tools and motivation to participate in
the cooking at home trend, as well as to give them a service call-to-action to come together with their friends and the rest of America to lend support to a cause that hits every community across this country. Together, we hope to raise 10 million meals for the hungry this fall, as well as to inspire many great moments, meals and memories in homes across the U.S.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Macy’s in this campaign and are so grateful for their support and determination to provide 10 million meals,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. “As the need for food in this country is up 30 percent since last year, there is no better time to take action. No American should ever go hungry and it is because of generous and engaged donors like Macy’s joining Feeding America in the fight to end domestic hunger that we are able to support 25 million people every year.”

The statistics are staggering, as 35.5 million Americans are at risk of hunger with 12 million of those being children. This year alone the need for food is up 30 percent. While many assume that the homeless make up the largest contingent of the hungry, in reality 89 percent of the people Feeding America serves each year have homes. The need for food increases yearly during the Fall/Winter, a time this campaign will target. In total, Macy’s support for the issue has been strong for more than a decade. For the past 12 years, through Macy’s, Inc.’s award-winning “Partners in Time” employee volunteer program, Macy’s has aimed to “Bag Hunger” with its annual summer fundraising, food collection and volunteer effort. As the company readies to kick off this national consumer effort, Macy's announced results from its own internal campaign – a total impact equivalent to 9.7 million pounds of food -- or 7.6 million meals.

To get involved the public may participate in three ways – Host, Give and Shop. Friends and families across the country can host dinner parties from casual to formal, send invitations and manage party details including theme and recipes on www.macys.com/cometogether. As they invite their guests, hosts can suggest they make a donation in lieu of bringing wine or a dish to the party. The donation can be made directly to Feeding America on the Macy’s site.
For those who want to participate without throwing a dinner party, donations can be made directly at any Macy’s register – one dollar to provide dinner for seven. Lastly, Macy’s customers can shop for the cause and get special savings in-store on October 17, when Macy’s hosts a national Shop For A Cause day – where a portion of the $5 instore ticket sales will benefit Feeding America.

The Come Together campaign will launch in mid-September with one of Macy’s famous celebrity TV spots featuring the retailer’s “star” designers. The commercial directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black, The Addams Family) running in 30-second and 60-second spots, will feature an all-star cast including Jessica Simpson, Queen Latifah, Mariah Carey, Usher, Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, Tommy Hilfiger and Donald Trump. A Spanish-language commercial will also feature TV star Carlos Ponce. Set in a Macy’s store at the close of the day, the fun and
appealing cast will relax over a meal peppered with the usual and unexpected twists and turns that occur at all great gatherings. To further create awareness, Macy’s Come Together will be featured in print ads that disrupt the normal boundaries of advertising into editorial content, as well as in direct mail, magazines, in-store signage, an online microsite, customer e-mails, outreach via social media, and more than 50 in-store culinary events and fashion parties
across the country. To launch the campaign, Macy’s will host a special VIP dinner party during New York Fashion Week on September 15th in its flagship Herald Square store. The event, hosted by Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse, will benefit Feeding America and will include other celebrity and VIP guests, along with Macy’s customers. On that day, at 6pm local time in more than 650 full-line Macy’s stores across the country, shoppers will get a taste of this important initiative as Macy’s hosts the World’s Largest Dinner Party. This kick-off event will have customers join in the “first course” of the nationwide party to celebrate the launch and to educate the public about the effort. The Come Together campaign concludes on October 21, 2009.

Macy’s Culinary Council, made up of 15 world-renowned chefs including Emeril Lagasse, Tyler Florence, Todd English, as well as entertaining authority Martha Stewart, will serve as the experts of this campaign, offering up dinner party themes, recipe ideas, product suggestions and even their suggested playlists, to help America host delectable and entertaining dinners. All of this great content will be available on macys.com/cometogether and in other direct mail vehicles during the campaign.

With Come Together, Macy’s and Feeding America hope to generate attention to the staggering issue of domestic hunger while inspiring the nation to gather over dinner for this important cause.


mike said...

How exciting - and just in time for Fall... when everyone goes back to the table! Nice to see Martha involved along with Emeril - and nice to see Macy's fighting hunger! Thanks for finding/posting this!

Elaine said...

I hadn't heard about this campaign - sounds so very worthwhile. I am glad to hear that Martha and Emeril and others in the culinary world are getting involved! Thank you for telling us about it.