DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.— On behalf of Drive to End Hunger, AARP and AARP Foundation’s nationwide initiative to end hunger among older Americans, four-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III today announced that Daytona International Speedway will donate all extra food items from the 53rd Annual Daytona 500 to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
The donation is expected to include breads, produce and other food items and will be delivered on Monday with help from Americrown, the catering and concessions subsidiary of parent company International Speedway Corporation. The announcement comes as Drive to End Hunger celebrates its first race as primary sponsor of Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet.
“This donation is a great opportunity to help people who are struggling in the Daytona area and to build momentum for Drive to End Hunger as we take the 24 car around the country this season,” Gordon said. “Six million people over 60 in this country struggle with hunger, but with the help of the sport’s dedicated fans, tracks and partners, we can make a real difference in the communities we visit each week.”
“We are pleased to join Drive to End Hunger in helping make a difference for people right here in our community,” Chitwood said. “More than 20 percent of Floridians reported not having enough money to buy food in the last year. Particularly in these economic times, we want to do everything we can to support Second Harvest, which is an important resource for people of all ages who are struggling to put food on the table.”
Drive to End Hunger is a national effort that also includes an innovative grant program that will provide more resources to address this problem at the local level; mobilization of NASCAR fans, sponsors, their customers, AARP and AARP Foundation volunteers to address the problem of senior hunger through community service and direct donations to food banks; and research on the causes and the consequences of hunger in older Americans.
Working nationally with Feeding America, during Speed Weeks, Drive to End Hunger is leading a food drive effort at 65 Winn-Dixie stores across central Florida. As part of the effort, this morning AARP Foundation announced a $10,000 contribution directly to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Nearly 20 percent of the food bank’s clients are seniors.
“We see too many people in central Florida forced to choose between paying their bills and putting food on their table,” said Dave Krepcho, president & CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “Jeff, the Speedway and Drive to End Hunger are making a real difference this week for seniors and people of all ages around Daytona.”
For more information or to get involved, visit www.drivetoendhunger.org>.