Fighting Hunger With “American Idol” & Cheesecake

“American Idol” season 9 winner Lee DeWyze is joining The Cheesecake Factory in promoting Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month and encouraging fans to get involved.

DeWyze announced his support during a press conference on Saturday.

“I was shocked to learn that more than 49 million Americans live at risk of hunger, including 17 million children,” said DeWyze. “I am so eager to help Feeding America spread the word about the extent of hunger in this country, and to help in any way I can.”

Photo: AP Photo
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. shareholders’ meeting, Fayetteville, Ark.

Feeding America provides food and groceries to more than 37 million people annually thanks to a network of more than 200 food bands and 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency feeding sites.

The third annual Hunger Action Month takes place in September with dozens of local and national events planned to bring awareness to those in need and inspire those more fortunate to help out.

The 2010 Hunger Action Month theme is “30 Ways in 30 Days.” A calendar on the Hunger Action Month’s website gives viewers 30 simple ways to get involved including changing your Facebook status to show your support, donating, volunteering at your local food bank, reading the Feeding America blog, and cooking a meal while talking about hunger with your child.

“Our food banks are helping more people than ever before, so Feeding America is thrilled to have Lee DeWyze bring attention to the urgent issue of hunger in our nation,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. “We are equally pleased with the generous support of The Cheesecake Factory, which has contributed more than $1.2 million to our efforts in the past two years.”

The Cheesecake Factory is asking fans to take the pledge to support Hunger Action Month by either pledging food, pledging money, pledging time, writing to Congress or telling a friend about the cause. In exchange, supporters will get to view a special “Thank You” message from the season 9 “Idol” finalists. Supporters that donate $5 or more will receive a coupon for a complimentary slice of cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory.

The restaurant chain is inviting fans to upload videos of themselves singing “Lean On Me” for the chance to meet DeWyze at The Cheesecake Factory in Hollywood, Calif. Four finalists will be selected and then America will vote for the winner. “Share Your Voice” contest entries are being accepted through Sept. 30 and the winner will be announced Oct. 18.

Click here for the Hunger Action Month’s website. 

Click here to enter the “Share Your Voice” contest.