We at Feeding America were thrilled to hear that TODAY Show anchor Savannah Guthrie selected hunger prevention for the Ad Council PSA that she produced for the series “Today Takes Action.” We were even more excited when we found out that we would get to spend a whole day with her filming her PSA.
Feeding America’s hunger prevention campaign raises awareness of the fact that 1 in 6 people in the U.S. struggle with hunger, which amounts to 50.1 million people. The campaign urges Americans to get involved with Feeding America, a nationwide network of local food banks, collectively serving 61,000 soup kitchens, pantries, shelters, senior centers, youth programs, and other agencies. You can help those in need by donating funds, time, food, or simply helping spread the word about the critical issue of hunger in our nation. Visit FeedingAmerica.org/Hunger for more information.
The creative idea behind Savannah’s commercial (created pro bono by the San Francisco-based ad agency Cutwater) was to show her setting up dinner tables across New York City (and eventually across all of America) to feed the 50 million Americans living in hunger.
The TV shoot was in December, directed by award-winning filmmaker Joe Pytka. The shoot began in the morning at a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights, continued across the Brooklyn Bridge, and wrapped at the Flatiron Building, where Savannah was filmed enlisting the help of New Yorkers around Madison Square Park.
Throughout the day, passersby did a double-take—wondering if they were in fact seeing a TODAY anchor setting up tables. The shoot provided an extraordinary opportunity to deliver in-person the same message that our ads communicate via the media: “Yes! That’s Savannah Guthrie. She’s filming a public service campaign to help Feeding America prevent hunger.” If the reactions we got on the street were any indication of what’s to come, the impact of NBC’s broadcast should be incredible.