Hunter Hayes, ConAgra Foods, and P&G announced a partnership today that will help raise awareness of the issue of child hunger. On specifically marked ConAgra and P&G products, one can find an eight-digit code. For each code entered Child Hunger Ends Here's website or Facebook page, the two companies will donate the cash equivalent of one meal to Feeding America, a domestic hunger-relief organization. Hayes will also be partnering up with the effort, and for each download of the singer's current single "Invisible" off of iTunes, there will be a likewise donation made to Feeding America.
Hayes told Billboard on Monday morning that he has been working with Child Hunger Ends Here for a while. "It started a couple of years ago when I was approached to write a song for the ACM Lifting Lives segment. Con Agra and Child Hunger Ends Here was the featured charity for the ACM's. They talked to me and a buddy of mine about writing a theme song for the campaign. So, Luke Laird, Barry Dean, and I got together and wrote a song called 'Here's Hope."
Getting to know the organization -- and what it is up against -- shook Hayes to his core, he says. "It was quite an eye-opening experience, because going in to write a song like this, you don't just write what you think it's about – you have to do your research. It is staggering what you learn about the hunger issue – right next door in our own backyards. The statistics are absolutely unbelievable. With the song, we wanted to talk about the positive side – what we could do to help. The little things we can do can make a big difference. It's something that we can be a part of to make this story a better one."
"Here's Hope" was performed on the ACM's by Little Big Town, but Hayes' involvement was far from over, as the star felt compelled to work with the charity again. "One of the ideas we had was along with the download of something, ConAgra would donate the monetary equivalent of a meal to Child Hunger Ends Here."
Both parties felt that Hayes' current single – currently No. 25 on the Hot Country Songs chart – made sense. "We talked about that being a part of 'Invisible,' because the song is about a lot of many things, and to me, it's about shedding light on things, and looking at something in a positive way.To me, this particular campaign is something that I want to draw attention to and speak about. It's something you wouldn't really believe. It's hard to imagine, but it's a serious issue. That's one of the ideas we had to start a conversation about it, and get people talking about it."
Child Hunger Ends Here will also help to present Hayes' upcoming "Invisible" Tour, which he is very excited about.
"We get to go even further and work with them on the tour. They are going to do some really cool stuff as part of our tour. I couldn't be happier that we are going to get to be a part of spreading the word about an issue, but how easy it is to help and what we can all do."
The tour – which will also feature Danielle Bradbery as well as Dan + Shay, will mark the singers' first foray into the arenas as a solo artist – after his first headlining tour this past fall. "It's something I've been dreaming of forever," he says. " "You then start to think about what it would be like to design a show in an arena. That's been on my mind since middle school, and was something I always wanted to do, but never imagined it would happen quite like this. I'm very excited. We're putting the show together as we speak." The tour kicks off March 20 in Pikeville, KY.
Hayes premiered "Invisible" at the Grammy Awards in January, and since that performance, he admits the stories that fans have shared with him have touched his heart. "I have been brought to tears with a lot of the stuff that I hear. It's been a life changing song for me, just by way of being connected to people in a way that I never have before. The song is a great example of what happens when you just write your heart, and you say something that really means something to you. You hope that you can write it in a way that it will mean something to someone else. You never really know that until you put it out, and now that we have, I couldn't be more appreciative of the fact that a song that means that much to me could be taken in by so many people."