DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, International Speedway Corporation (ISC) Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy and AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins today announced ISC’s commitment to donate food throughout the 2012 race season, as well as the launch of an innovative ticket package for NASCAR fans, to support AARP Foundation through Drive to End Hunger, a national effort to address the issue of older adult hunger in America.
“We all love NASCAR because of the unbeatable action on the track,” Gordon said. “Drive to End Hunger, ISC and Americrown are showing today, though, that some of the most important work we do is off the track. These commitments will go a long way to help people put food on the table for themselves and their families.”
“We understand that strong communities are everyone’s responsibility,” stated Kennedy. “Across the country at each of our motorsports facilities, we see opportunities to solve challenges in these communities. By working together with AARP in addressing older adult hunger in America we can make a difference in the lives of many through our food donations. Hopefully, we can reach a day when no one has worry about where their next meal will come from.”
Americrown Services Corporation (Americrown), ISC’s food and beverage concessions operator, will donate extra food items from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races it services in 2012 to local food banks on behalf of Drive to End Hunger. AARP Foundation will help identify and work with local food banks to receive the donations, which are expected to include bread, produce and other food items. This week, Americrown and the Daytona International Speedway will donate extra food from the Daytona 500 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
“The Great American Race not only serves as the thrilling kick-off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, it will also launch a very worthwhile initiative help those facing hunger in Central Florida,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “We are very proud to once again be a part of this campaign.”
In addition to the food donation program, ISC also announced the launch of ticket packages at targeted races. ISC tracks will donate $24 per ticket package for races at Phoenix International Raceway (March 4), Martinsville Speedway (April 1), Darlington Raceway (May 12) and Watkins Glen International (August 12) – and Kansas Speedway (April 21-22) will make a $2,500 donation – to AARP Foundation for Drive to End Hunger as part of VIP ticket packages that include an exclusive question-and-answer session with Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
“We’re proud to work with committed partners like ISC and Americrown to help nearly 9 million older Americans who everyday have to choose whether to eat or pay for other essentials like shelter or health care,” Jenkins said. “We want to make a real difference this week in Daytona, and build lasting, sustainable solutions beyond.”
ISC, AARP and AARP Foundation began food donation efforts in 2011, when more than 45,000 pounds of food – the equivalent of 35,000 meals – were donated to local food banks on behalf of Drive to End Hunger. This year’s efforts are beginning at Daytona International Speedway and will continue to other ISC tracks, including Phoenix International Raceway, Auto Club Speedway and Martinsville Speedway.
Drive to End Hunger is AARP and AARP Foundation’s national effort to help the nearly 9 million older Americans who are facing hunger across the United States. Drive to End Hunger is not only raising awareness of the problem, but also the funds to fight it. Drive to End Hunger is engaging corporate sponsors and individuals across the country, as well as funding innovative programs with promising results that can be applied elsewhere to prevent hunger. All contributions to Drive to End Hunger go to support the hunger solutions of AARP Foundation.
To get involved or for more information, please visit www.DrivetoEndHunger.org.