The numbers are in: NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign crushes original goal!

The campaign topped its original goal by more than 25%
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 6:28 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The final number is in for the NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign, and because of you, we raised more than 6.3 million meals for Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.

That’s 1.3 million meals more than the goal we set back in November, which was to raise five million meals. The final number, 6,344,264 meals, was revealed on Wednesday.

“For years, supporters of the campaign have stepped up to meet the needs of our neighbors facing hunger, but this was no ordinary year,” says Michelle Orge, President and CEO of Southern Wisconsin. “To raise over 1.3 million meals more than our goal is astounding.”

The campaign benefits Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, which helps families and individuals facing food insecurity in 16 southern Wisconsin counties. The non-profit distributes food to 225 partner agencies and programs, including food pantries in local schools.

The final total for the the 25th Share Your Holidays campaign far surpasses the original goal.
The final total for the the 25th Share Your Holidays campaign far surpasses the original goal.(WMTV)

The NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign was held over an eight-week period from Nov. 12 to Dec. 31, 2020.

The theme this year, “Because of you,” culminated as a celebration of 25 years of giving back.

“Don’t ever underestimate the heart of our viewers and local businesses, “says Don Vesely, WMTV NBC15 Vice President/General Manager. “We wanted to make our 25th year special, and because of the generosity of our community, many families won’t have to worry where their next meal comes from.”

During the pandemic, Second Harvest learned quickly that the need for relief was greater than ever.

From March 15, 2020 through Jan. 2, 2021, more than 13.2 million meals have been distributed by Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.

Compared to 2019, they have distributed 56% more food in 2020. They have seen a 40% increase in the number of food insecure people in southwestern Wisconsin.

Right now, one in nine are facing hunger.

“It was a heavy year,” says Jessica Laszewski, WMTV News Director. “This is the silver lining to know our storytelling made a difference for so many people and families. To have an unprecedented need met with record giving is overwhelming—it’s hard to put into words how grateful we are.”

This is the fourth consecutive year that the campaign established a new record, and it is thanks to each and every person in Southern Wisconsin. Each cent, each dollar, each second, each minute donated is giving hope and a meal to thousands dealing with food insecurity.

Thanks to the buying power of Second Harvest Foodbank, for every one dollar donated, up to three meals are provided to adults, children, and seniors who struggle to find their next meal.

WMTV’s late anchor, Mike McKinney, had a personal mission to eliminate hunger and founded the NBC15 Share Your Holidays campaign outside of a Madison grocery store in 1996. The single-day food drive raised 50,000 meals. Since then the campaign has raised more than 55 million meals.

“I want to say thank you on behalf of people you will never meet. These people are the reason why Share Your Holidays is so amazing. It not only puts food in people’s homes, but it also gives people who are going through a dark time, some light. Who may feel a sense of despair, hope, and more importantly it shows that people care. That this community cares. and that’s what Share Your Holidays is all about. So, on behalf of all those people from this one person, thank you for making such a small idea, a great event.” - Late WMTV Anchor Mike McKinney, NBC15 Share Your Holidays Founder.

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