“Kasey’s passion for giving back is infectious, and the success of her blog is a testament to that,” said Genevieve Mazzeo, the Public Relations and Social Media manager of ConAgra Foods. “Through her work, she is helping to raise awareness about the more than 1 in 5 kids in the U.S. who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. She is spreading the word to her community to join the cause.”
ConAgra Foods and Feeding America have banded together to launch the Child Hunger Ends Here campaign. This is the third year the campaign has taken up the initiative to help more than 16 million food-insecure children in the United States.
According to Gary Rodkin, the CEO of ConAgra Foods, more than 20 percent of children do not know where their next meal is coming from.
The Child Hunger Ends Here campaign has recruited several bloggers to raise awareness across the country. Trenum heard about the program while attending a bloggers’ conference in Nashville.
“Basically as a blogger ambassador for [the issue], I want to bring awareness. ... My role is to get the word out through media, social media, and word of mouth. However I can reach as many people that are within my reach,” Trenum said.
Trenum is the nationally recognized blogger of Time2$ave, a blog dedicated to locating daily coupons and offering couponing tips.
“I don’t really like couponing,” Trenum admitted. “I started couponing because I had to. So I understand people that do do it because there is a need in their lives.”
As she talks, Trenum reveals some of the crises that caused the needs that were once in her life. They include a father with brain cancer and a husband effected by downsizing. In addition, two additional houses, that were built with the purpose of selling, sat for over two years.
“Couponing saved my family’s finances,” Trenum said.
Through trial and error Trenum became something of a coupon guru. Soon she was sought after for advice.
“I was asked to speak to a moms’ group. I thought there would be 10 to 25 people max and there was 200,” Trenum recalled.
The overflowing class was an eye-opener for Trenum and in June 2009 she launched her blog.
Today, Trenum is hoping to use her social media skills to help ConAgra and Feed America’s Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign.
“The fact is that 27.4 percent of children in Bradley County are food insecure. Basically that is 1 in 3 children,” Trenum said. “My kids are sitting at a table where, statistically speaking, one of them is food insecure. That absolutely blows my mind.”
The program works through consumers purchasing specially marked packages of ConAgra Foods brands. These packages will have a special code to be entered at www.childhungerendshere.com.
“Once you enter the code online, you have the opportunity to download a song called “Here’s Hope,” Trenum explained. “You have the choice of a version by Jewel, Jay Sean, or Owl City.”
Said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America, in a recent press release, “With the help of friends, neighbors and music fans across the country, we know we can continue to make a positive difference in the lives of children in need.”
Trenum urges people to look outside of the box.
“You think that the people in need are the ones on the side of the interstate. It is families that work, families that are trying to put food on the tables. These are real American families that are trying to do their best, but they just can’t do enough to keep food on the table for their kids,” Trenum said.
A meal will be donated for every code entered. According to the campaign’s website, the price of a meal from one of Feed America’s local food banks is 13 cents.
“I know that most people want to give, but people can’t afford it,” Trenum said. “I mean, I could not afford it before I began couponing. I could barely afford to pay our bills.”
Trenum’s experience with both need and couponing has allowed her to pour her energy and heart into her couponing classes and blog. Her dedication has been noticed by her two children, Morgan and Caleb.
“It feels good because you know you helped someone and God is going to honor you,” Morgan said.
It was Trenum’s father who originally taught her to give through his life’s example. Today, she carries on his legacy.
“I think it is important to look beyond yourself. Life isn’t fair and we are going to face things. It wasn’t fair watching my father die of brain cancer,” Trenum shared. “Now instead of looking at my life and thinking about what I have lost, I can think about what I have to give. He lives on through that.”
For more information on the campaign, visit childhungerendshere.com. To receive more insight into couponing, visit Trenum’s blog, time2saveworkshops.com.
“I teach people every time they go to the grocery store, you need to buy something to give,” Trenum said. “For me it has always been time to save plus time to give equal time for hope. It’s not about getting a deal, it’s about making a difference.”