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CHARGE AGAINST HUNGER CAMPAIGN REACHES $5 MILLION GOAL

 NEW YORK, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- American Express and Share Our Strength announced that they have reached and even surpassed their goal of raising $5 million through the Charge Against Hunger program, the fundraising, awareness and employee volunteer campaign to fight hunger in America. Every time the American Express(R) Card was used between Oct. 5 and Dec. 31, 1993 to make a purchase, American Express donated two cents to Share Our Strength.
 American Express will be running advertisements beginning tomorrow thanking their Cardmembers and merchants for their support in reaching the goal. Through this support, as well as from additional contributions made by retailers and others participating in the program, more than $5.3 million was raised.
 Kmart contributed $250,000 by matching American Express' donation of two cents for every purchase made with the American Express Card in Kmart stores. Century 21 and Galeries Lafayette department stores gave $10,000 and $2,000 respectively. Liz Claiborne allotted 10% of the proceeds of a special shopping night. Campbell's Soup Company donated up to 30,000 cans of food. And, finally, Stevie Wonder made a personal contribution of $50,000.
 In addition to the $50,000 donation, Wonder contributed the song "Take the Time Out" to the campaign. Wonder debuted the song during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and appeared in a Charge Against Hunger advertisement.
 One of the largest-ever corporate commitments to fighting hunger in the United States, Charge Against Hunger funds are being distributed by Share Our Strength in the form of grants to local initiatives targeted to provide food assistance, nutrition education, and long-term preventative measures to the fastest growing segment of hungry Americans -- families with young children. Already, over 70 grants totaling more than $1.5 million have been awarded in 31 states.
 American Express employees nationwide organized food drives and fund-raising events in their communities, and served breakfast to thousands of kids in eight cities on Oct. 26 as part of "Breakfast in America," designed to help boost participation in the federally-funded School Breakfast Program.
 "We are proud of our contribution to fighting hunger in America, but this is only the beginning,' said Tom Ryder, President of Establishment Services at American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. "Charge Against Hunger is a call to action. Our campaign to heighten public awareness, volunteer our time at the grass roots level, and raise funds is an example of what corporate America can do to attack this problem. We hope more businesses and individuals will now take up the challenge of fighting hunger in America, especially now, when the holidays are over and our attention often turns away from those in need," he added.
 "This has been an unprecedented corporate commitment to one our most pressing social issues," said Bill Shore, founder and executive director of Share Our Strength (SOS). "Through Charge Against Hunger, not only has SOS been able to more than double the amount of grants we've given on an annual basis, but the awareness level raised through the media campaign has attracted other corporate sponsors to support the work of SOS as well as other hunger-fighting organizations."
 -0- 1/14/94
 /CONTACT: Keith Otterberg or Barry Reicherter of M. Silver Associates, Inc., 212-704-2020, or Ann Andrews of Share Our Strength, 202-393-2925, or Marcos Rada of American Express, 212-640-2566/
 (AXP)


CO: Share Our Strength; American Express ST: New York, Florida IN: SU:

LD -- NY004 -- 2049 01/14/94 09:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1994
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