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Feinstein’s $1 Million Challenge raises $159 million

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Feinstein’s $1 Million Challenge raises $159 million
for 1,500 anti-hunger agencies across America

KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 1, 2006 -- More hungry people are able to get food, thanks to the continuing efforts of Alan Shawn Feinstein.

This year the Rhode Island philanthropist’s annual spring million-dollar challenge helped raise a record $159 million during March and April, the largest amount raised since his challenge began in 1997. All of the money will be use to feed the hungry.

More than 1,500 agencies and places of worship across the country used the challenge to spur their own fundraising efforts. Feinstein’s Challenge dollars were divided proportionally among them. Every state, except South Dakota, participated in the challenge. In Rhode Island alone, agencies and places of worship were able to raise more than $10 million.

“Given the current economic situation, more and more people are finding themselves standing in line at a food pantry in order to feed their families,” said Kathleen Gorman, director of the Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America at the University of Rhode Island. The center handles the administration work of the annual campaigns. “The Feinstein challenge provides a much-needed boost to many agencies’ fund-raising efforts during a difficult time of the year when donations are unable to keep up with the need.”

Feinstein, prompted by reports of increasing need by emergency food providers, created the annual campaigns. The challenges have raised more than $600 million in the past nine years, making them the most successful grassroots effort to alleviate hunger.