(December 1, 2004 – Burbank, CA) – “The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s” “Thanks-for-Giving Food Drive” is proving to be an enormous success, with monies raised totaling more than $450,000 to date. In addition to companies such as M&M’s, Starbucks, Uncle Ben’s, Dove, Prego, CVS Pharmacy, Warner Bros. Studios, and individuals including Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, viewers added their own donations to join Ellen DeGeneres in her campaign to fight hunger this holiday season. The money raised will go to America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s Food Bank Network and largest food-donation organization. In addition to CVS Pharmacy’s generous monetary donation, the company, inspired by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show," decided to donate $20 million dollars worth of food and health and beauty aids to America’s Second Harvest. “I am touched by the generosity of our viewers and the corporations who came forward in support of our food drive,” DeGeneres said. “It feels good to give to others. I’m just reminding people of that.” Knowing how significant one person’s contribution can be, on November 3rd Ellen announced a food drive for the holidays, encouraging her viewing audience to start their own community food drives and donate to their local food banks. Ellen is also asking viewers to donate at least one dollar to America’s Second Harvest (via the show’s website) and they have responded, raising $40,800 to date. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” also held an auction on ebay, Ellen’s Celebrity Tag Sale, featuring fun and unique items highlighted on show and signed by Ellen and some recent celebrity guests. Proceeds from the auction will go to The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, a partner of America’s Second Harvest. The auction closed on November 22 at 12:00p.m. (PST) and raised $14,015. The items available on e-bay included such things as a trampoline signed by Hilary Duff and Ellen DeGeneres, a trip to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and a Pierce Brosnan signed "After The Sunset" movie poster, to name a few. Megastar Colin Farrell, a recent guest on the show, also contributed to Ellen’s Thanks-For-Giving efforts, donating $1,000 to America’s Second Harvest, keeping up his end of a bet with Ellen, in which he promised to pay $100 every time he said a bad word during his interview. For more information on how to get involved in Ellen’s Thanks-For-Giving food drive, go to www.ellendegeneres.com. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” premiered on September 8, 2003 and was the highest-rated freshman syndicated show of the 2003-2004 season. In May, 2004, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” received four Daytime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Talk Show and made Daytime Emmy history, garnering 12 nominations in its first year, more than any other freshman talk show in the history of the Daytime Emmys. Originating from NBC Studios in Los Angeles, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is produced by A Very Good Production and WAD Productions, Inc. in association with Telepictures Productions and is distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. America’s Second Harvest—The Nation’s Food Bank Network, is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization with a national network of more than 200 regional food banks and food-rescue programs, serving all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The network receives nearly two billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually. America’s Second Harvest’s network supports approximately 62,000 local charitable agencies, operating more than 94,000 food programs, including food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, Kids Cafes, Community Kitchens. These local organizations provide emergency food assistance to 23 million hungry Americans, including more than nine million children and almost three million seniors each year. For more information, visit the web site at www.secondharvest.org. • Every dollar donated will help provide 20 pounds of food to more than 200 food banks and food rescue organizations that are members of the America's Second Harvest Network. Network Members serve every county in the United States. • With $300,000 in corporate cash contributions, America's Second Harvest will be able to secure and distribute over five million pounds of food for their local food banks in communities nationwide. (Food is distributed based on population and the percentage of people living in poverty in each community.) • In 2003, Forbes magazine gave America's Second Harvest a charitable commitment rating of 98%—meaning 98% of all product and financial donations received by America's Second Harvest go directly towards feeding hungry people rather than administration or fundraising.
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