With the wealth of resources in the US, it might be difficult to imagine that people in this country go hungry, but a new public service advertisement (PSA) for Feeding America calls attention to the truths of ‘hidden hunger.’
Feeding America, which states it is the nation’s largest hunger-relief and food rescue organization, worked in partnership with the Ad Council and McCann New York to tell ‘Stories of Hidden Hunger,’ a campaign exposing the truth about the everyday people in the US who experience hunger and the reality of their struggles. The goal of the campaign is to move people from apathy to empathy.
“There are a lot of misconceptions around hunger, and we purposefully chose stories about struggling working families to provide a range of relatable situations to help bridge the empathy gap,” said Catherine Davis, chief marketing and communications officer at Feeding America. “We hope that these stories help change how people feel about hunger in the US and foster a desire to make an impact with Feeding America.”
‘Stories of Hidden Hunger’ depicts the lives of two families with working parents, both narrated by a child through familiar nursery rhymes and inspired by real-life stories from the 46 million people served by the Feeding America network. In two spots, nursery rhymes are used to display modern hunger problems. In ‘The Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe,’ a teacher is shown coming home to two kids, who she scrapes up enough soup to feed, with barely a spoonful for herself. In ‘Mother Hubbard,’ a woman comes home to her son and has to water down the milk to give him something to nourish him.
“Centuries-old nursery rhymes paired with modern day stories highlight the fact that hunger is still a widespread issue as it was hundreds of years ago,” said Sherrod Melvin, senior vice president, group creative director at McCann New York.
A recent Feeding America consumer research study found that people subconsciously blame individuals facing hunger which creates emotional distance and separates themselves from the issue. With this campaign, the organization hopes to bridge the gap and demonstrate that hunger can affect people from all walks of life. In fact, more than half of the households the Feeding America network of 200 food banks serves includes at least one employed person.
In addition to the video spots, the radio and print campaign illustrates real feelings and reactions of people who suffer from hunger.
“Hunger is a heartbreaking experience that affects so many people – including millions of families working hard to make ends meet,” said Lisa Sherman, president and chief executive officer of the Ad Council. “When viewers see the realities of hunger in this work, we hope that they will be inspired to end the story of hunger once for all.”
The broadcast spots for television and radio, along with print and digital ads, will be placed in donated time and space by thousands of media outlets via the Ad Council’s network of media partners.