Rise In National Food Pantry Usage Inspires Children's Authors to Donate a Portion of Book Proceeds to America's Second Harvest

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Today, Susan Beacham, who co-wrote The Millionaire Kid$ Club™ book series with New York Times bestselling author Lynnette Khalfani Cox, announced plans to donate a portion of retail sales from their book, Volume 2 - Putting the "Do" in Donate, to America's Second Harvest. The book, which was just published this Spring, focuses on a group of children who receive a financial gift from their pastor and work to make it grow into a larger investment that they donate to their local food bank.

Although the December holidays are most associated with the season of giving, it's often summertime when those in need are forgotten and many local food pantries run dry. Now as we approach June, more and more Americans find it even harder to keep gas in the car and food on the table.

Those two things, rising fuel and grocery costs, are being blamed for a sharp climb in demand at food banks. However, the nation's largest charitable hunger-relief organization is finding a little relief from an unlikely source -- the writers of a children's book. The writers, who teach children valuable lessons through engaging stories about financial responsibility and giving back to the community, are donating 5% of their retail book sales to America's Second Harvest, through the end of 2008.

Today, Susan Beacham, who co-wrote The Millionaire Kid$ Club™ book series with New York Times bestselling author Lynnette Khalfani Cox, announced plans to donate a portion of retail sales from Volume 2 - Putting the "Do" in Donate to America's Second Harvest. The book, which was just published this Spring, focuses on a group of children who receive a financial gift from their pastor and work to make it grow into a larger investment that they donate to their local food bank.

"Putting the 'Do' in Donate is a heartwarming story that emphasizes that kids are instinctual givers," said Beacham. "Empowering kids with the wherewithal to help those in need is not only the right thing to do, but it's the smart thing to do because it instills the gift of giving in our youth," she added.

The message to rally support for food banks found in The Millionaire Kid$ Club's™ - Volume 2 - Putting the "Do" in Donate couldn't be more timely. April saw the biggest jump in food prices in 18 years, according to the Labor Department. At the same time, workers' average weekly earnings, adjusted for inflation, dropped for the seventh straight month.

America's Second Harvest conducted a survey of 180 food banks in late April and early May and found that 99 percent have seen an increase in the number of clients served within the last year. The increase is estimated at 15 percent to 20 percent, though many food banks reported increases as high as 40 percent.

Although the characters are fictitious in The Millionaire Kid$ Club™ - Volume 2 - Putting the "Do" in Donate the problem they address is a very real one. In the book, Dennis can't wait to get to school on Monday to tell his friends about the amazing moment at church on Sunday. During the sermon, his pastor gave several of the children a $100 bill. But there is a catch: Dennis and his friends can't spend it on themselves, but instead use it to help someone less fortunate. His teacher suggests the local food bank since recent news reports have shown that their shelves are growing bare.

After getting past an initial desire to spend the money on having fun, the kids decide to invest the money and their time in some simple activities (a lemonade stand and yard work services). Their efforts pay off when they happily increase the $100 to $1,000, which they donate to a local food bank.

As an additional cool element, each of the stories ends with a hip, rap-style poem that reinforces the financial lessons the kids have learned. The clever and catchy prose captures how much children don't know about money, but shows that they are eager to find out and able to understand more. And while the books don't follow the traditional "happily-ever-after" format, you know these kids will live much happier and financially secure lives.

The Millionaire Kid$ Club™ books are recommended for children 5-12 years old. The suggested retail cost for each book is $12.95. For more information or to purchase the books visit http://www.msgen.com or http://www.themoneycoach.net.

In addition to having co-authored The Millionaire Kid$ Club™, Susan Beacham is the founder and creator of the beloved Money Savvy Pig®, a four-chambered bank which teaches children the power of delayed gratification through money choices and goal-setting. She is also a financial expert, speaker and award-winning, nationally syndicated columnist. Her company, Money Savvy Generation, develops innovative products and services to help parents and educators teach kids the skills of basic personal finance. For more information, please visit the Money Savvy Generation web site at http://www.msgen.com.

Beacham's co-author Lynette Khalfani Cox is a personal finance expert, speaker and New York Times bestselling author. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post and numerous magazines. To learn more about Cox and her free money-management newsletter, visit her web site at http://www.themoneycoach.net.

About America's Second Harvest
America's Second Harvest -- The Nation's Food Bank Network is the nation's largest charitable hunger-relief organization. It is a network of more than 200 member food banks and food-rescue organizations that serves all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The America's Second Harvest Network secures and distributes more than 2 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually.

The organization supports approximately 63,000 local charitable agencies operating more than 70,000 programs including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, and after-school programs. For more information visit http://www.secondharvest.org

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