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Haul Across America Tour Arrives in Little Rock

Fort Smith, Arkansas (December 6, 2007) —

On December 12 at 10:30 a.m. the national “Haul Across America” tour will arrive at the Arkansas Foodbank Network, 8121 Distribution Drive in Little Rock. An inspiring human story about a life touched by hunger in Arkansas will be added to a growing national collection.

This collection of stories, submitted by hunger relief organizations from across the nation, began its journey October 17 in Portland, Oregon and will make several stops on the way to the nation’s capital. The Arkansas Foodbank Network has been selected as one of only nine stopping points. The stories are carried in an ABF truck and headed for Washington D.C. Upon arrival on March 1 the stories will be presented for recognition.

The goal of the “Haul Across America” is to increase awareness about the realities of hunger in the United States. The effort hopes to bring the understanding that behind every hunger statistic there is a story of an individual, a child or family that needs assistance. These are also stories of how local food banks affect the lives of those in need.

The Arkansas Foodbank Network is a member of America’s Second Harvest Network – The Nation’s Foodbank Network – the largest charitable hunger relief organization in the country. Phyllis Haynes, the Arkansas Foodbank Network Executive Director says, “We are very excited to be part of this effort. We want the public to know that there are hungry people out there and they have a story. We want to add a story from Arkansas to the collective voice and let everyone know the needs.”

The “Haul Across America” tour is a part of the U-Pack-A-BackPack initiative – a national virtual food drive to fight childhood hunger. This is a joint effort between America’s Second Harvest’s network and ABF U-Pack Moving®. All donations to the virtual food drive will be tracked by zip code and remain in the communities in which they are raised. Local contributions will benefit area food bank programs that help feed children and their families.

The public and supporters of the Arkansas Foodbank Network are invited to attend the event. For more information on the U-Pack-A-BackPack initiative or the “Haul Across America” visit www.U-PackaBackPack.org.

Established in 1984, the Arkansas Foodbank Network procures and distributes food to more than 450 member agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and after-school feeding programs, in 33 central and southern Arkansas counties. It is a member of America’s Second Harvest – the Nation’s Food Bank Network, a Heart of Arkansas United Way and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.

In 2006, the Arkansas Foodbank Network distributed more than 8.5 million pounds of food and grocery product to feed Arkansans in need. Almost half of the individuals served by the Foodbank’s member agencies are comprised of children and the elderly. Twenty-three percent of the households served have at least one working adult. For more information on the Arkansas Foodbank Network, visit www.arkansasfoodbank.org.

America’s Second Harvest – The Nation’s Food Bank Network is the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the country with more than 200 Member food banks and food-rescue organizations serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Network supports approximately 50,000 local charitable agencies operating more than 90,000 programs including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs and Kids Cafes. Last year they provided food assistance to more than 25 million people in the United States. For more on the America’s Second Harvest Network, please visit www.secondharvest.org. Contact: Mathew Killion 312-641-6646 or mkillion@secondharvest.org.

ABF U-Pack Moving is an affordable, convenient residential moving solution. In operation since 1923, ABF Freight System, Inc.® is one of North America’s oldest and most reputable motor carriers. The project U-Pack-A-Backpack began in October 2007 to raise funds and increase awareness for childhood hunger. The program was originally created to assist school backpack programs. All of the funds raised go to the America’s Second Harvest network of food banks. Funds benefit the communities in which they are raised. For more information, go to www.upack.com or U-PackABackPack.org.

For more information contact:
Kay Lynn Clay