Apr 08, 2013 • By

Outnumber Hunger Live!

I had a great time this weekend representing General Mills at the first-ever Outnumber Hunger Live! concert. It took place in Las Vegas on Friday night, during the 2013 Academy of Country Music weekend, to raise awareness for Outnumber Hunger and to help Feeding America secure meals for its network of local food banks.

General Mills, Feeding America and Big Machine Label Group are teaming up in Outnumber Hunger for the second consecutive year to rally Americans to help fight hunger in local communities.

Friday’s concert launched the national initiative with a star-studded roster of country music artists from Big Machine Label Group, as part of the ACM’s Party for a Cause Festival.

It was headlined by platinum-selling sibling trio The Band Perry. Other Big Machine label-mates also took the stage at the Orleans Arena, including Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore, Florida Georgia Line, Cassadee Pope and Greg Bates. The concert was broadcast on AXS TV on Saturday.

Host Jamie Little, motor sports reporter for ESPN and ABC, kicked off the show by pumping up an eager crowd of country music fans, and then introduced Greg Bates as the first performer of the day. Bates’ set included fan favorites “Did It for the Girl” and “Brothers.” Next up was Cassadee Pope, the winner of season three of the television show, “The Voice,” followed by ACM New Artist of the Year winners Florida Georgia Line, performing original songs like “Cruise” and “Get Your Shine On,” plus unique covers of songs like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” and Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.”

Justin Moore took the stage next with a selection of his songs including “Til My Last Day” and “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away.” With the sun setting behind him, Brantley Gilbert – who also was nominated for ACM New Artist of the Year – also pumped up the crowd and rocked Orleans Arena.

The Band Perry closed the show with an amazing performance of songs from their new album “Pioneer.” The list included my personal favorites “Done” and “I’m a Keeper.” The band was nominated for ACM Vocal Group of the Year and is the face of this year’s Outnumber Hunger campaign.

Artists posed for fan photos and interviews on the red carpet, and were joined by partner representatives from Feeding America (Maura Daly), Big Machine Label Group (Scott Borchetta) and General Mills (Shawn O’Grady).

(Florida Georgia Line with Scott Borchetta, president and CEO of Big Machine Label Group.)

Outnumber Hunger Live! is the first of ongoing efforts with Big Machine artists – Other support is expected from artists such as Rascal Flatts, Reba, the Eli Young Band, Thomas Rhett, Raelynn, The Mavericks and Ella Mae Bowen throughout the campaign.

Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods. But the reality is much different.

Right now, 50 million Americans struggle with hunger – that’s one in six people.

It was during The Band Perry’s “Pioneer” album lunch concert, held in its hometown of Greeneville, Tenn., on March 30, that I truly experienced this firsthand.

(Greeneville, Tenn., March 30)

The event offered a way for concert-goers to get involved in the cause by purchasing a wristband to support their local Feeding America food bank – Second Harvest of Northeast Tennessee. Supporters were from all walks of life, and several of them told me that they had used the local food bank at one time in their lives.

Their stories were truly eye opening and hit home the fact that our neighbors and friends struggle, too.

The good news is that so many of us can and do want to help and that Outnumber Hunger makes it easy to do so.

Consumers are encouraged to purchase any of the specially marked General Mills packages and enter codes from these packages at OutnumberHunger.com. Each code submitted helps Feeding America secure five meals for local food banks.*

Spread the word to your social community and see the effects of your good deed multiply!

“Like” Outnumber Hunger on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and learn more about our work with Big Machine and Feeding America.

By banding together we can help Outnumber Hunger in our own areas.

*For every code you enter by March 1, 2014, we will donate $0.65 to Feeding America – enough to secure five meals on behalf of local food banks. Maximum total donation of $1,300,000. We have already donated $700,000. We will donate up to an additional $600,000 based on online code entry and other consumer actions. Look for other ways to trigger donations at OutnumberHunger.com.

You can read more about the concert at Billboard.com.