Whenever a PSA cuts to dreary music and a morose-looking child, viewers can be sure they’ll be directed to helping underserved kids in a country that they may or may not be able to identify on a map.
Not so fast.
In an effort to underscore how severe the issue of hunger is right here in America, nonprofit Great Nations Eat partnered with agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty to release a couple of ads that follow standard PSA protocol, but depict kids in the U.S.
The 30-second “Germany for America” spot, for example, features a stoic child clutching her stuffed bear while sitting on a stoop.
As she stares dead on, the translated captions relay that this girl survives on little nutritious food and is at risk for developing diabetes and heart disease.
The PSA then goes on to explain that 49 million Americans are struggling with food insecurity, and that Germany, which only has a 6 percent hunger rate, needs to step in and help.
The unexpected turn aims to demonstrate how in the most powerful country in the world, millions of citizens remain powerless in the face of hunger.
And hunger becomes a particularly precarious problem during the summer months when public school kids lose access to the meals served in schools.
During the 2012-2013 school year, 21.5 million students received free or reduced-priced lunch, according to the Food Research and Action Center. But once school lets out, many of these children often go hungry because their strapped parents can’t access programs that provide on-site meals.
To help combat the issue, Great Nations Eat -- a campaign of Share Our Strength -- is featuring the “Germany for America” ad on more than 20 national broadcast stations. And Share Our Strength works to nourish kids in need by connecting them with effective programs and teaching underserved families how to cook healthy and affordable meals.
“Hunger exists in every community, and it affects the lives of 1 in 6 Americans," founder and CEO of Share Our Strength, said in a statement. "That doesn't happen in any other developed nation, and it shouldn't happen here."
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