“A Place at The Table” Launches National Anti-Hunger Media Campaign Featuring First Lady Michelle Obama

Food Policy Action Education Fund collaborates with major media partners to support campaign and help change the conversation around hunger in America

WASHINGTON, DC: (Jan. 4, 2016) Today, Food Policy Action Education Fund (FPA-EF) announced the launch of A Place at the Table, a three-year national media campaign to inspire America and our leaders to make ending hunger in the U.S. a national priority.  Backed by $300M of donated media from major media partners – including broadcast, digital, out of home and print advertising – A Place at the Table kicks off its campaign with a new public service announcement (PSA) featuring First Lady Michelle Obama. The PSA, which can be viewed here, features working Americans struggling with hunger and encourages viewers to fuel the potential of every child by demanding action from our nation’s leaders to fix the problem.

“Americans face hunger in every single state, city and town in our country, and it’s driving up healthcare costs, holding children back from reaching their full potential in school, and hurting the productivity of our workforce,” said Tom Colicchio, Food Policy Action Education Fund co-founder, chef and food advocate. “Simply put: America can’t be great on an empty stomach. If we are going to fulfill our potential as a country, we need to make sure adequate nutrition is affordable for every working person in this country and bolster programs for children, veterans, and seniors. I am excited to have FPA-EF manage this campaign to help change the conversations about hunger.”  

The campaign was inspired by the 2013 documentary A Place at the Table, directed by Lori Silverbush, and Kristi Jacobson.  “Everywhere we filmed, we found the same thing.” said Silverbush. “Americans, struggling to feed their families, in both red states and blue, often while working one or more jobs. Returning veterans going hungry. Kids who couldn’t focus in school.  Working families that simply ran out of food before the end of the month and then were forced to make heartbreaking choices between food and medicine, or food and rent. We learned that hunger is a solvable problem, if our nation makes ending it a priority. And we heard from thousands of people telling us they wanted to be part of the solution. And that’s what this campaign is all about.”  

“This is a problem we can fix,” said Willy Ritch, FPA-EF’s campaign manager for A Place at the Table. “But we need to change the conversation about hunger and change some basic misconceptions about who goes hungry in this country. We want to bring about that change and help create the political will to solve this problem. We’ve got a great team and a massive amount of donated media to get this message out, and we’re very excited about getting to work.”

FPA-EF is running the multi-media campaign with guidance from the Alliance to End Hunger, a diverse coalition of over 90 corporations, non-profits, faith-based organizations, universities, foundations, international organizations, and individuals working to build the public and political will to end hunger. “We are excited about this opportunity to work with FPA-EF to change the perception on the faces and reasons behind food insecurity in the United States. This is critical to building the will to end hunger,” said Rebecca Middleton, Executive Director of the Alliance to End Hunger.

The team behind the ads includes Silverbush and the creative team at groundbreaking New York-based creative agency BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty). In addition to the first PSA featuring First Lady Michelle Obama, A Place at the Table is launching an ongoing photo ad campaign by award-winning photographer Danny Clinch, in which top artists, celebrities, writers, athletes, and leaders make the case that adequate food fuels human potential and achievement (#FoodIsFuel). The first round of ads feature well-known stars such as Norman Reedus, Questlove, Julianna Margulies, Edie Falco, and Rosie Perez. Along with the ads, A Place at the Table will be rolling out a cutting-edge online, mobile and social campaign that will use innovative and proven methods of digital engagement to turn the awareness created by the advertising into on-the-ground grass-roots advocacy and activism.

Mediavest | Spark has provided strategic support for the campaign. Media for the broad scale initiative will be launched with more than 35 partners across national and local TV, as well as digital, social, and audio including large cross channel conglomerates such as Viacom and iheartmedia. Partners such as Buzzfeed and POPSUGAR will also play a key role with their influential platforms. Launching later in January/February will be print and outdoor media in key geographies.

“The election of 2016 showed us that Americans are ready for a change,” said Colicchio. “There are a few things that everyone in this country can agree upon; that veterans shouldn’t go hungry is one of them. Ending hunger for children and seniors is another. Fixing this will have an enormous impact on our kids’ educational outcomes. It will provide a giant boost for our economy and propel our nation forward in an increasingly competitive global environment. Besides…it’s the right thing to do.”


About Food Policy Action Education Fund: Food Policy Action Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization that is a separate sister organization of Food Policy Action. The mission of FPA-EF is to provide a platform for public education and engagement on the impacts of federal policy on the food system.

About BBH NY: BBH NY makes ambitious ideas for ambitious clients. Using the power of creativity for outsized impact on culture and business growth, they work with some of the most innovative marketers in the world and are consistently honored with the highest strategic and creative accolades. BBH NY won the 2016 Grand Prix for “Best Integrated Campaign” at the Cannes Lions Festival for Netflix’s House of Cards. Clients include PlayStation, Vaseline, Seamless, Harman Kardon and Macy’s. For more information, visit bartleboglehegarty.com/newyork.

About Mediavest | Spark USA: Mediavest | Spark is one of five global media agency brands within the Publicis Media solutions hub, a division of Publicis Groupe. Led by CEO Chris Boothe, Mediavest | Spark USA leverages an agency footprint that includes offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Detroit in the U.S., along with the additional resources of the full Publicis Media organization that spans 100 countries with more than 13,500 employees worldwide.

About “A Place at the Table” documentary: A Place at the Table is a 2013 documentary produced by Participant Media and released by Magnolia Films.  It tells the powerful stories of average Americans who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat.  The movie shows how the issue could be solved forever, once the American Public decides—as they have in the past—that ending hunger is in the best interest of us all.

About the PSA: “Fuel the Potential” was produced by Magical Elves and BBH. Directed by Lori Silverbush; Cinematography by Phil Parmet; Music arranged and performed by Joseph Arthur; Casting by Meg Morman at Morman Boling Casting; Edited by Jim Schwartz; Mixed at Nylon Studios, NYC.

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