According to the USDA, more than 41 million Americans—including 13 million children—go hungry each day.
In honor of World Food Day, Feeding America released an extended PSA that’s sure to tug on a few heartstrings while reminding viewers that hunger is not limited to any one group. Chances are it has at some point affected your neighbor, co-worker or friend.
“Most people are not aware that hunger is prevalent everywhere in the U.S. A lot of people blame the hungry [for not having the means to buy food]. Over 50 percent of the people Feeding America serves have a job,” said Feeding America chief marketing and communications officer Catherine Davis, who formerly held leadership positions at Leo Burnett and Vizeum.
The video, produced pro bono by Chicago-based ONE at Optimus, depicts a single working-class mother silently struggling to make ends meet to feed her school-aged son.
While 41 million Americans don’t get enough to eat, 72 billion pounds of safe food ends up in America’s landfills every year, according to Feeding America. “There’s an enormous amount of excess. During the harvest season, there’s all this produce that gets just left in the field. We give people access to fruits and vegetables,” Davis noted.
The video has a happy ending despite some heartbreaking moments including an image of the boy’s fallen face when he comes home from school to an empty house and an even emptier fridge.
“We were very fortunate with this project that so many talented people got involved just because they were passionate about this cause,” video director Amanda Speva said in a statement.
The video, available in 30-second and 60-second versions, will be distributed on Feeding America’s digital channels and shared with the nonprofit’s network of 200 food banks.
“We hope it educates more people on the reality of hidden hunger and inspires them to help out,” the project’s creative director, Anna Kate Roche, wrote in a statement.
Davis said the video, while running in tandem with World Food Day, is also timed perfectly for the pre-holiday season, when lower-income families struggle financially and others are more prone to donate.
Director: Amanda Speva
Creative Director: Anna Kate Roche
Writers: Anna Kate Roche and Amanda Speva
Production Company: One at Optimus
Executive Producer: Lisa Masseur
Head of Production: Dave Buehrle
Line Producer: Stacey Nuzbach
Cinematographer: Jason Chiu
1st AC: Ian McAvoy
Production Manager: Mia Reggi
Art Director: Chris Carini
Art Assistant: Calvin Small
Gaffer: Steven Wester
Wardrobe: Bethany Kaufman
PA: Gus Murray
PA: Sara Osborne
PA: Jaci Klein
PA: Emmet Kilmer
PA: Jon Benson
Casting: PR Casting
Camera: Keslow Camera
Julie: Alyssa Thordarson
Son: Brady Perkins
Cleaning Lady: Judy Tatar
Original Music: Comma Music
Executive Producer: Bonny Dolan
Composer: Amanda August
Editor: Dana Huiras
Assistant Editor: Lindsay Rynne
Color Grading: Nice Shoes
Colorist: Ron Sudul
Assistant Colorist: Alex Frankland
Audio Engineer: Marina Bacci
Assistant Audio Engineer: Zach Scheitlin
Executive Producer: Brian Hrastar
Producer: Jenny McDonald
Assistant Producer: Rachel Burke