Amid New Survey Showing Increased Food Support Needs, Macy's Launches "Come Together" Campaign with Feeding America to Aid Domestic Hunger by Raising 10 Million Meals
"Come Together" Rallies the Public to Host Charity Dinner Parties and Invites Their Guests to Donate to Feeding America in Lieu of Bringing a Hostess Gift to the Gathering. Macy's Will Match These Donations Dollar-for-Dollar until the Goal of 10 Million Meals is Reached
Macy's Hosts "World's Largest Dinner Party" on September 15 at 6 p.m. at Stores across the Country to Educate Customers about the Effort
Lending a Helping Hand to the Cause Are Macy's "Stars" Jessica Simpson, Queen Latifah, Mariah Carey, Usher, Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, Tommy Hilfiger, Donald Trump and Carlos Ponce Who Are Featured in the "Come Together" TV Commercial
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- On the heels of a new "Economic Impact Survey" issued by Feeding America today in which 99 percent of all participating food banks reported a significant surge in demand for emergency food assistance over the past year, Macy's (NYSE: M) today launched its "Come Together" campaign encouraging the public to rally for this cause in an effort to feed 10 million people suffering from hunger. To support Hunger Action Month and the country's increasing food support needs, "Come Together" invites consumers to host special dinners in their homes, but asks their guests to donate to Feeding America on macys.com/cometogether in lieu of bringing the traditional hostess gift to the gathering. Macy's will track and match these donations dollar-for-dollar until the total goal of 10 million meals is reached.
"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."
Supporting the effort are a new star-studded celebrity TV commercial; the World's Largest Dinner Party at stores across the country on September 15th; special dinner party events hosted by world-renowned chefs from Macy's Culinary Council; a national charity shopping day; and a one-stop online destination at www.macys.com/cometogether that features recipes, dinner party fashions, invitations, themes, music and other special content to create the perfect gathering.
"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, which makes this initiative all the more timely. 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. Just this year, Macy's has already made an impact by providing 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 themes 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 in-store ticket sales will benefit Feeding America.
The Come Together campaign is supported by one of Macy's famous celebrity TV spots featuring Macy's "star" designers and friends. The commercial directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black, The Addams Family) running in 30-second and 60-second spots, features 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 features TV/Film star Carlos Ponce. Set in a Macy's store at the close of the day, the fun and appealing cast are seen relaxing 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 is being 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 including Macy's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, and more than 50 in-store culinary events and fashion parties across the country.
The official launch event will take place on Tuesday, September 15th as Macy's hosts the "World's Largest Dinner Party" at 6 p.m. local time in more than 650 full-line Macy's stores across the country. 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.
ABC News' "Good Morning America" has partnered with Feeding America and Macy's on the Come Together initiative. Throughout the months of September and October, "Good Morning America" will update its viewers on the Come Together campaign as well as inform them as to how they can get involved in their own communities. This morning, "GMA" kicked things off with a piece by special contributor, Cameron Mathison, in which Mathison hosted a dinner party to help raise money to feed Americans in need. Tune in to "Good Morning America" Monday through Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. for more information on how you can get involved and Come Together to help feed people in need this year.
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.
About Feeding America
Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity with a mission to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and to engage the country in the fight to end hunger. Each year, the Feeding America network provides food assistance to more than 25 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States, including more than 9 million children and nearly 3 million seniors. The network of more than 200 food banks serves all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Feeding America network secures and distributes more than 2 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually.
The Feeding America network supports approximately 63,000 local charitable agencies that distribute food directly to Americans in need. Those agencies operate more than 70,000 programs including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs, Kids Cafes and BackPack Programs.
Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy's stores and macys.com offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks(R) and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade(R), as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers.
For Macy's media materials, images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at www.macys.com/pressroom.
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Source: Macy's, Inc.
Released September 14, 2009