RALEIGH, N.C.—The N.C. Pork Council (NCPC) and The Food Effect website have launched a month-long campaign to raise awareness about childhood hunger, strengthen the social networks of North Carolina’s seven Feeding America food banks, and raise up to $14,000 in donations for the food banks.

The Food Effect is an online network designed to fight childhood hunger and the detrimental effects it can have on physical, cognitive and behavioral development. It was launched in 2011 by the NCPC in partnership with the state?s Feeding America food banks.

The new campaign, an outgrowth of The Food Effect, is designed to simultaneously raise money for each of the state’s seven banks and help them to recruit thousands of additional followers on Facebook. For each new fan who “likes” a food bank on Facebook between November 25 and year’s end, the NCPC will donate $2 to that food bank, up to a maximum of $2,000 per bank.

The NCPC will also create Facebook ad campaigns for each bank to support the food banks’ efforts to expand their fan bases and raise awareness about the campaign. This will assist each food bank to meet the challenge of adding 1,000 new Facebook followers between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

Deborah Johnson, chief executive officer of the NCPC, said, “The effort to combat childhood hunger is taken very seriously by the pork production community. Our goals are to educate thousands more North Carolinians about the childhood hunger epidemic in our state and inspire citizens to get involved by supporting their local food bank as Facebook fans, volunteers, and donors.”

Pork producers in North Carolina have publicly accepted a responsibility to help ensure that North Carolina’s hungry children are fed. Promoting a better quality of life in communities is one of six ethical principles of the industry’s We Care program, adopted by pork producers nationwide.

Alan Briggs, executive director of the state’s association of food banks, commented, “The Food Effect has been a great partner in the continuing fight against hunger, especially among children. We look forward to this new campaign and happily accept the challenge of adding new Facebook followers. We appreciate the commitment by the N.C. Pork Council.”

The North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks includes all seven participants in the new NCPC-supported campaign. They are, with headquarters in parentheses: MANNA FoodBank of Western NC (Asheville); Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC (Winston-Salem); Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (Charlotte); Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast NC (Fayetteville); Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (Raleigh); Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC (Raleigh); and the Food Bank of the Albemarle (Elizabeth City).

North Carolina’s Feeding America food banks are the primary source of food for the state’s local hunger-relief charities. They provide emergency food assistance to more than two million North Carolinians in all 100 counties through a network of more than 2,500 partner agencies, such as emergency food pantries and soup kitchens.

In FY 2013, for instance, the banks distributed more than 140 million pounds of nutritious food and other grocery products – the equivalent of nearly 117 million meals. In terms relative to donations, the food banks estimate that $2 will pay for approximately 10 meals.