There is a new record in NASCAR.
AARP and AARP Foundation announced today the Drive to End Hunger campaign will return in 2015 with the renewal of the relationship with Hendrick Motorsports as a primary sponsor of driver Jeff Gordon and his #24 Chevrolet SS team. This marks the fifth year AARP will be a primary sponsor of the car, unprecedented for a social cause.
Hendrick Motorsports is an 11-time NASCAR Sprint Series Cup champion. Gordon has won the Cup four times and ranks third on the all-time wins list with 90 victories. He is the current series point leader for the 2014 season.
Drive to End Hunger addresses the problem that nearly 9 million older Americans face the threat of hunger.
AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger campaign will be featured as a primary partner in 13 Sprint Cup races next season, including the Daytona 500. At all other events, it will be on portions of the car as an associate sponsor.
Calling hunger “a hidden problem that millions of older Americans are battling silently,” AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson said that Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick “are committed champions behind the wheel and off the track.”
“Together we will make the most of this unprecedented opportunity,” Ryerson said.
Drive to End Hunger, supported by donations from individuals, corporations, and other nonprofit groups, aims to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger among those 50 and older and to provide short- and long-term solutions to older adult hunger. Utilizing education, engagement, and collaboration, it has donated more than 30 million meals since it was launched by AARP and AARP Foundation early in 2011.
Hendrick described Drive to End Hunger as “absolutely inspiring”, noting “what’s been accomplished in a relatively short time.”
“At the beginning, we felt the program would ultimately be judged on how many lives it impacted,” he said. “There’s no question it’s been successful by that measure, but we still have much more to do.”
Gordon, who has a lifetime contract with Hendrick Motorsports, called NASCAR fans “a big part of the success of Drive to End Hunger. I’ve seen them packing meals, texting donations, and getting involved in their communities.”
Referring to AARP and AARP Foundation as “incredible partners”, Gordon said he was “very happy to continue our work together. It’s been an extremely rewarding and humbling experience for me personally.”