Press Release: Consumers and Publishers Respond to Literacy Call Gift of 150,000 Kid’s Magazines and Whole Foods Newsstand Campaign Pay Magazines Forward via U.S. Food Banks to Kids and Families Hungry to Read
Madison, WI- At 16, John Mennell, founder of MagazineLiteracy.org, and a friend cleaned out an abandoned school to create a teen center for their hometown. At 26 he knocked on the door of a food pantry with no food and stood in front of a grocery store to collect 2,000 pounds of groceries to fill the shelves. He spent a summer between Cornell semesters heading on foot from Ithaca to Candor, New York, to mentor teens starting a community newspaper, and walked from Washington to Boston to spotlight U.S. hunger. Thus, began a journey coming fullcircle this week with a firsttime newsstand magazine drive at Whole Foods that engaged thousands of consumers to share magazines for literacy, and a gargantuan gift of 150,000 Boy's Quest, Hopscotch for Girls, and Fun for Kidz magazines from the Edwards publishing family in Bluffton, Ohio that will be delivered to at risk readers via food banks and Boys & Girls Clubs.
"The Edwards family has made an unprecedented gift for literacy that kickstarts our longtime dream to channel magazines to millions of eager readers via the nation's vast food bank network," explained Mennell. "The magazines will be put into the hands and homes of enough at risk readers to fill every seat in two Super Bowl stadiums, via food banks and Boys & Girls Clubs in the midwest, and the Community Foodbank of New Jersey, which serves 900,000 people each year mostly children in the region hardest hit by superstorm Sandy," he added.
Building momentum, Mennell's global literacy project just received 1,000 copies of Popular Mechanics that will go to teens in maker mentoring, and science and technology programs, 2,000 Owl Kids sent to Inuit children north of the Arctic Circle in Canada, pallets of Condé Nast magazines, and hundreds of Food Network magazines for culinary job training programs operated by food banks. "I read Popular Mechanics and other magazines cover to cover as a teen and still do it's
the reason for MagazineLiteracy.org," explained Mennell.