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Dale Jr.’s Banana Sandwich Raises $159,935 for Blessings in a Backpack

Ron Lemasters | The Dale Jr. Foundation | 5/4/2016

2016 Banana and Hellmann's Mayo Sandwich Dale Jr. Sandwich Events Fundraising News

It’s amazing what you can do to help others if only you pay attention.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 3, 2016) – It’s amazing what you can do to help others if only you pay attention.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. did, after a harmless Tweet about his favorite sandwich set off a viral firestorm that coalesced into $159,935.33 worth of food for at-risk children. Earnhardt Jr.’s rendition of his sandwich of choice, a Hellmann’s mayonnaise and banana on white bread, triggered the massive outpouring of beneficence.  More than 1,195 donors gave nearly $60,000 to hit the mark, and one of Earnhardt Jr.’s favorite charities, Blessings in a Backpack, reaped the benefits.  Both Earnhardt Jr.’s own charity, The Dale Jr. Foundation, and the good folks at Hellmann’s each pledged to donate $50,000 to make it that much better. 

“That banana sandwich raised $159,935.33,” Earnhardt Jr. tweeted. “Thanks to all who donated.”

Blessings in a Backpack provides food for children who face hunger on weekends, when they are out of school. The total donations are enough to make for 60,755 hunger-free weekends, according to Blessings in a Backpack, which takes a hefty bite out of the sting these children and their families face.

“We are so thankful for the efforts of The Dale Jr. Foundation and all others who created such a tremendous opportunity to help needy children across the country,” said Brooke Wiseman, CEO for Blessings in a Backpack. “It is wonderful people and organizations, like Dale and Hellmann’s that we can provide a safety net from hunger for students and bring awareness to an important cause.”

In addition to the personal donors, Earnhardt Jr.’s and Hellmann’s contributions, the Waltrip brothers’ charity added $5,000 more to the total, along with celebrity cook and television personality Rachael Ray, who also donated $5,000.  Both Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond International Raceway sold the Dale Jr. Sandwich on their respective race weekends to further enhance the total gift.

“While we were thrilled by the response Dale Jr.’s banana and mayo sandwich received, we were inspired by his actions to turn the conversation into an effort to help feed hungry children across the country,” said Hellmann’s Marketing Director Russel Lilly. “In honor of our long-standing partnership with Dale Jr., Hellmann’s is honored to match his donation to Blessings in a Backpack with a $50,000 donation of our own – and we hope to inspire others to get involved as well.”

That inspiration worked wonders for Blessings in a Backpack and the work it does to help stave off child hunger.

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