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National “Haul Across America” Tour Arrives in Washington, D.C.

Fort Smith, Arkansas (February 27, 2008) —

The national Haul Across America tour reaches its final destination in Washington D.C. on March 5th. The cross-country tour ends with the presentation of a collection of compelling stories about child hunger and family hunger. U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln will accept the collection at a Capitol Hill ceremony.

The collection of stories, submitted by hunger relief organizations from across the nation, began its journey October 17th, 2007 in Portland, Oregon. The goal of the tour is to increase awareness about hunger in America and help raise funds to combat the problem. Behind every hunger statistic there is a story of an individual, a child or family and how they ended up in need. The narratives reveal the role that emergency hunger relief organizations serve in communities from coast to coast.

The tour, conducted by ABF U-Pack Moving®, is part of the U-Pack A BackPack initiative. The focus of the program is a national virtual food drive benefitting the America’s Second Harvest Network. The goal is to raise enough funds to provide one million pounds of food. In addition to a donation, ABF U-Pack Moving has provided a $25,000 matching gift to help the cause. Donations received through U-PackABackPack.org will be eligible for matching funds, tracked by zip code and routed to programs in the communities of origin. The funds are to be utilized for a variety of childhood and family hunger initiatives such as school backpack programs and Kids Café.

A notebook containing the stories, symbolically carried in a school backpack, traveled in the cab of an ABF truck across the nation to Washington, D.C. The tour included stops in nine cities along the route. In each city new stories were added to the collection.

The final day of the tour begins Wednesday, March 5, at 10:30 a.m. at Bruce Monroe Elementary school in Washington, D.C. The ABF truck carrying the backpack will arrive at the school and the last story for the collection will be presented at an assembly. Ninety students, wearing backpacks will stand – each child symbolizing 100,000 children served each year through America’s Second Harvest. Representatives from the Capitol Area food Bank will speak on hunger and present the final story. The story tells of a young girl from the area who heard about hunger and decided to do something.

The collection of stories will then be presented to U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas at a 1:30 p.m. ceremony at Capitol Hill. Lincoln serves on the Bi-Partisan Hunger Committee and will share some of the stories at the event.

The last stop of the day will be at the Congress Park Community Center at 3:30 p.m. at a Kids Café program to see firsthand how the funds are put into action. The U-Pack A BackPack initiative – a national virtual food drive, 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. For more information on the U-Pack-A-BackPack initiative visit www.U-PackaBackPack.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

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 U-Pack A Backpack initiative began in September 2007 to raise funds and increase awareness of 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 www.U-PackABackPack.org.

Contact:
Kay Lynn Clay
kclay@upack.com
479-785-8686