updated 02/26/2009 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 02/26/2009 AT 10:45 AM ET
“Yes We Can” has taken on new meaning.
Some of the country’s top talk show hosts are riffing off President Obama’s campaign slogan with a campaign of their own in support of hard-hit local food banks.
Dr. Phil, Ellen DeGeneres, Bonnie Hunt, Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson and The Doctors are asking audience members at their shows to donate canned goods to help re-stock the L.A. Food Bank, as well as agencies nationwide affected by the economic downturn. The goal of the “Yes We Can” campaign: to collect 12,000 cans of food a week through April.
Ferguson joked, “I was ecstatic, as we often encourage audience members to leave all heavy, metal objects outside the stage.” In the tradition of lounge comedy, he added, “audience members are still free to bring fresh food in to express their distaste for the comedy.”
The L.A. Food Bank has seen a 41-percent increase in demand, according to the press release. And many food banks across the country have been hit hard by the dual forces of a recession and skyrocketing food prices. “We don’t charge anything to come see our shows,” Dr. Phil noted, “and our audience has shown us that their support is unqualified when we try to make a difference.”
The talk show hosts are also participating in public service announcements, inviting viewers outside of the L.A. area to donate to local food banks through the charity Feeding America.