Every year, millions of young Americans travel their neighborhoods, trick-or-treating for candy and goodies.  Free The Children’s We Scare Hunger campaign, made possible in the U.S. by The General Mills Foundation, and with support from iHeartMedia, its official U.S. media partner, encourages young people across the country to help those struggling with hunger by collecting goods for their local food pantry on and before Halloween.

The goal of We Scare Hunger is to generate awareness around local hunger-related issues in addition to raising necessary food items for local food banks across the U.S.  Throughout the month of October, students, teachers and schools are invited to sign up to receive free program materials and resources at www.freethechildren.com/wescarehunger.  As participants in the program, young people organize food drives throughout their schools or communities, and then on the evening of October 31 conclude their efforts on Halloween by trick-or-treating for canned goods and other non-perishable products, in addition to traditional candy.  All food is then donated to local food banks.

iHeartMedia Communities, the community engagement brand of iHeartMedia, will support the U.S. launch of We Scare Hunger nationally on all 850 iHeartMedia radio stations in 150 markets from October 21 – October 31, 2013 with a series of on-air public service messages.  The series of iHeartMedia produced spots will aim to mobilize youth, teachers and parents to take action this Halloween in the name of local hunger by asking each audience to collect/hand-out non-perishable foods items in addition to candy.  The PSAs encourage listeners to visit www.iheartradio.com/hunger to sign up for We Scare Hunger and gain access to helpful resources and information to support this year’s campaign.  iHeartMedia’s commitment includes more than $1.2 million in donated air time including digital placement on all iHeartMedia station websites.

“Thanks to the hard work of students across the country, as well as our generous partners General Mills Foundation and iHeartMedia, this Halloween, We Scare Hunger is aiming to provide hundreds of families access to healthy food this year,” said Craig Kielburger, Co-Founder, Free The Children.  “Last year, students from more than 1,500 schools across North America collected an estimated 875,000 pounds of food to help combat hunger in their communities.  This year, students hope to raise 1 million pounds of food for local food banks.”

“We Scare Hunger empowers youth in a fun and effective way to address a global issue that too often exists right in their own backyards,” said Jessica King, Director of Community Engagement for iHeartMedia.  “Free The Children is creating the next generation of philanthropists and iHeartMedia is pleased to play a role in promoting unique opportunities for kids to give back and help in their own communities.”

“More than one in five children in the U.S. faces hunger,” said Ellen Goldberg Luger, Executive Director, General Mills Foundation. “We Scare Hunger makes it easy to make a difference and fight hunger.  It can mean doing something as simple as organizing a food drive or having an ample supply of non-perishable goods by the door to hand out on Halloween to designated trick-or-treaters.”

We Scare Hunger is part of Free The Children’s year-long We Act service learning and action programs, that combines service-based learning with meaningful community service.  Designed as a menu of resources available to teachers and students, the We Act program can be used in-class to achieve service learning objectives or as extracurricular activities within student-led clubs.  As part of this year’s We Scare Hunger campaign, impact posters, how-to guides and lesson plans have been put together by Free The Children to help educators raise awareness about hunger issues inside the classroom.

For more information or to sign-up visit www.freethechildren.com/wescarehunger