In the original “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” a young inventor tries to improve his town’s diet by building a machine that can turn water into food, but winds up running into problems when massive amounts of everything from cheeseburgers to spaghetti starts falling from the heavens.
With Sony’s animated “Cloudy 2” set to hit theaters on Sept. 27, the studio has teamed up with Feeding America, the nation’s largest non-governmental, domestic hunger relief organization, to help stop hunger from raining down on American citizens. Efforts have included a Sept. 9 produce-packaging event at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, a Feeding America partner, where “Cloudy 2” stars Anna Faris and Will Forte were among a group of volunteers.
“We had a movie about food falling from the sky,” said George Leon, executive vice president of consumer marketing for Sony Pictures, which saw the image as representing waste. “So we thought … how do we (stop the) waste?”
Every day in the U.S., nearly 50 million Americans go hungry, including more than 16 million children, according to Feeding America. “Even though the American public generally reports that they’re aware of hunger, most people think it’s somewhere else, or not in their backyard,” said the org’s Maura Daly.
The event at the L.A. Regional Food Bank mirrored those in Boston, Detroit, Phoenix and Atlanta, with thousands of meals distributed. For Forte, the experience in L.A. was instructive.
“I obviously knew that there was a problem, but I didn’t know the extent,” he said. “So it’s been a very eye-opening day to hear some of these numbers.”
Sony and Feeding America partnered with many food producers, including California Giant Berry Farms and Cal-Organic Farms, to donate more than 200,000 pounds of fresh produce to families in need during this, Hunger Action month. As it did on the first film, Feeding America will run PSAs in theaters with “Cloudy 2” to give information about how to help.
Leon sees the partnership as a way for the movie to bring awareness to the issue.
“It keeps it really relevant,” he said. “And if you’re into it because you like ‘Cloudy,’ and you’re discovering something new, it’s a great way to (help).”