Sept. 14, 2009 -- After six weeks of dinner parties, the "Come Together" project managed to raise over 7 million meals to battle hunger. But since the goal was 10 million, Macy's is stepping up to provide an additional nearly three million meals, Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said today.
Right now roughly one out of 10 people -- men, women and children -- do not have enough food, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But there's a new weapon in the fight against hunger: donation dinner parties.
"Good Morning America" teamed up with Macy's and Feeding America as part of the "Come Together" project. The goal of the initiative was to feed millions of Americans by encouraging people to throw dinner parties at which guests are invited to donate to Feeding America.
Macy's matched donations dollar for dollar until the goal of ten million meals is reached, not to mention the nearly three million additional meals promised today.
"So for $1, that will make seven meals," Macy's executive Martine Reardon told "Good Morning America." "So if you think about that, if you just raise $10 at one of your dinner parties, you will have contributed 70 meals to this campaign."
Celebrity starpower like Donald Trump, Jessica Simpson, Martha Stewart and Tommy Hilfiger have been enlisted for the six-week initiative, which will benefit the 98 percent of food banks nationwide that reported an increased demand this year.
"Now we're seeing more professional people that are part of the middle class that don't have jobs that have come to us for help," Feeding America president and CEO Vicki Escarra said.
"We're actually seeing more people standing in line at a soup kitchen and at a food pantry with suits," Lisa Jakobsberg of a New York City food bank said.
Clinton Payne, a truck driver who helped clean up debris after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is one of the new faces.
"I just came to visit the pantry because I need food. I've got to eat, and I've got to survive. This is my first time -- first time coming to a food bank, first time ever applying for assistance from the state. This is my first time doing everything," he said.