Food bank has shot at $1 million through social media

Food bank has shot at $1 million through social media

URBANA — The Eastern Illinois Foodbank has a shot at winning $1 million — about half its annual budget — through a new social media campaign being run by Walmart and its Walmart Foundation.

And if you'd like to help, it's "super easy," says food bank marketing director Cheryl Precious.

Just vote for the local community to win by "liking" it on Facebook sometime between now and April 30. Precious says community members can vote for Champaign-Urbana once every 24 hours.

The Champaign-Urbana area was one of 200 communities chosen to participate in this challenge, based on where unemployment rates are highest. Winning communities will receive food relief grants, according to Walmart.

"It's interesting," Precious said. "A lot of people think we're so insulated from the economic crisis, and a lot of folks at the top of the income ladder were. But we actually have a higher poverty rate than Cook County in Champaign County."

The community receiving the most votes will receive $1 million, which Precious said would go a long way to feeding the hungry served by the local food bank.

"That would really be a windfall for us," she said.

But the food bank would also be very happy to win one of the second-place grants, Precious says.

The 20 communities with the next highest number of votes will each receive $50,000 in food relief grants, according to Walmart.

Kevin Haney, Walmart market manager for the Champaign-Urbana area, said nearly 50 million Americans don't know where their next meal is coming from.

"I'm just excited about being able to participate in this event," he said.

Here's a link to vote for the local community to win: http://bit.ly/HPXgd0

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