A Madison TV station’s annual effort to fight hunger has broken a record.
NBC15 (WMTV-TV) raised 4.45 million meals during its annual Share Your Holidays campaign. The 23rd annual campaign eclipsed the previous year’s record total of 4.18 million meals by 270,000 meals.
The annual food drive benefits Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.
Share Your Holidays has raised nearly 45 million meals through food donations, public monetary donations, and business sponsorships and donations since the first event in 1996.
In 1996, NBC15 Anchor Mike McKinney was looking for the station’s next big community project. Remembering back to his childhood and his family’s financial struggles, McKinney decided to hold a food drive at a local grocery store. So at 6 a.m. on a cold and snowy morning, the Share Your Holidays to eliminate hunger campaign was born. That first year McKinney and other members of the community, including the National Guard, raised more than 50,000 meals for people struggling with hunger in our community. While our community lost McKinney to an illness in 2006, his inspiration continues to push the annual campaign to reach new record benchmarks.
“This campaign provides a blueprint for what can happen when people come together and work towards a common cause,” said Don Vesely, Vice President and General Manager of WMTV. “Food insecurity is a problem in so many communities and I know we made it better.”
“Over the last 23 years the NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign has proven the power of partnership to make a difference in our community,” said Dan Stein, President and CEO of Second Harvest. “That proof can be seen in more than just the raw number of meals provided by the campaign, it can also be seen in the improved lives of those who received help thanks to the campaign.”
“The generosity and kindness of our community is incredible, and our team wholeheartedly believes in the mission started by Mike McKinney,” said NBC15 News Director Jessica Laszewski. “We thank everyone who donated. You made a difference for so many others.”