The Ad Council and Feeding America have partnered to launch an integrated marketing campaign and will today send a one of a kind ice cream truck on a nine-day journey across the country to raise awareness of children facing hunger in the summer.
During the school year, 22 million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program, but when school breaks for summer, less than four million children receive meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program.
"Hunger deprives kids of more than just food. It limits their ability to reach their full potential. On empty stomachs, kids don't have the energy to focus, learn and grow," said Catherine Davis, chief marketing and communications officer, Feeding America.
"We think this little ice cream truck will not only help inform communities across the country that child hunger is an issue in their own backyard, but also shine a light on the amazing work our network of food banks is doing to ensure that kids have access to the food they need."
The truck will travel from Times Square, and begin its journey from NYC to its last stop in Los Angeles.
Before reaching LA on June 27, the truck will pass through five major US cities along the way, including Cleveland (6/20), Chicago (6/21), St. Louis (6/22), Denver (6/23) and Las Vegas (6/26).
Created in partnership with Facebook's creative shop along the route it will drive by a local food bank and stream LIVE on Facebook to showcase the work being done by the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks to feed families and work to end hunger.
Instead of serving ice cream, this truck will serve as a mobile billboard travelling on a coast-to-coast mission to encourage families to join the fight against hunger.
"Summer makes everyone think of warm weather, picnics and barbecues, but most people don't realize that it's an incredibly difficult time for so many kids across the country who are going hungry," said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of Ad Council. "We're so proud to be working with Feeding America and the Facebook Creative Shop to raise awareness about the millions of children who lose their access to steady meals when school lets out for the summer."
Before the truck takes off, it will be parked at 44th Street and 7th Avenue, near Times Square, where volunteers will hand out a Family Action Plan with simple projects to empower parents and kids to take action in the fight to end hunger.
As the truck begins its journey, Viacom will feature the truck and its mission in a custom PSA to raise awareness about summer hunger on its two digital billboards in Times Square at 44th and 45th streets.