Chicago, Illinois
January 15, 2009

Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, announced today that on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 19th, at 12:00pm, they will hold a national rally against hunger with Martin Luther King III, David Arquette, and musical performances by Josh Groban and Herbie Hancock.  Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks, is a supporting partner of President-elect Obama's and Vice President-elect Biden's "Renew America Together" national day of service that calls on Americans of all ages to participate in community service and help fellow citizens.  The national rally against hunger will take place at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library in Washington, DC and benefit the Capital Area Food Bank, a member of Feeding America.  The announcement was made today by Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America.

The national rally against hunger is an effort to raise awareness of the tragic reality that more than 36 million Americans, including 12 million children, are living on the brink of hunger.  At the rally, people will be asked to skip lunch for a day and to donate either the food or the money they would spend on lunch to the Capitol Area Food Bank.  Also beginning on Monday, January 19th, Feeding America’s member food banks will be hosting events nationwide urging people help the hungry in their communities by either donating food or funds.  The “Renew America Together” initiative begins on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day to honor the legacy of a man who lived his life in service to others. On the eve of the Inauguration, thousands of community service events will take place in Washington and all across the country.

Vicki Escarra said, “Feeding America is pleased to see the incoming Administration’s continued commitment to feeding hungry Americans, and we are honored to have Martin Luther King III, David Arquette, Josh Grobin and Herbie Hancock helping us lead in the fight against hunger.  The national rally against hunger will serve as a tribute to hungry Americans and call upon the American public and elected officials to support their food banks in these challenging times of unprecedented need for emergency food assistance.”

 “On this most historic of King Holidays, I am honored to stand with Feeding America in the fight against hunger in this country,” said human and civil rights leader Martin Luther King III.  “In this time of such grave economic challenge, it is now more important than ever we join hands to ensure that every American be afforded the most basic of needs.”

David Arquette, who chairs Feeding America's Entertainment Council, is particularly moved to take part in the rally against hunger.  "My parents instilled in me and my siblings the importance of celebrating Martin Luther King Day.   Perhaps that is why I have become involved in service to others--the lessons of my parents and the legacy of Dr. King.  It is an incredible honor to have Martin Luther King III join us in ending hunger in America on the day we remember the great service his father gave to our nation,” said Arquette.

One in eight Americans do not always know where they will find their next meal.  According to the USDA, there are 36 million people at risk of hunger in the US, 12 million of which are children.  In December 2008, Feeding America conducted a survey of 160 food banks nationwide – the results were troubling with food banks reporting a 30 percent increase in demand for emergency food assistance, compared to one year ago.


About Feeding America (Formerly America's Second Harvest - The Nation's Food Bank Network)

Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 25 million Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks operate 63,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit

About About the Capital Area Food Bank

The Capital Area Food Bank is the largest public, nonprofit food and nutrition education resource in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. Last year the Capital Area Food Bank distributed 20 million pounds of food through more than 700 partner agencies in the region.  In Washington, D.C. 1 in 2 school age children is at risk of hunger; in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, 1 in 5; and in Northern Virginia, 1 in 6.  In conjunction with our partner agencies, the CAFB helps nourish children, seniors and families in need.  The Capital Area Food Bank has served the National Capital Region over 29 years.  For more information, visit our web site at


Julie Cloutier
Feeding America
(212) 691-2800