updated 5/25/2011 10:47:31 PM ET 2011-05-26T02:47:31

CHICAGO, May 25, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carl Buddig & Company - the lunchmeat brand that has been nourishing families for generations - announces a new national cause marketing campaign to nourish young minds and support literacy efforts nationwide. The Be A Reader campaign kicks off with a new Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) partnership to raise a minimum of $100,000 for children's literacy programs.   

Be A Reader builds on Carl Buddig & Company's interest in strengthening family values by urging moms and kids to discover the joy of reading. On-pack graphics promoting the partnership will be featured on specially marked packages of Buddig lunchmeats through May of 2012. Funds raised through the campaign will support RIF's literacy education and efforts to provide free books to underserved children. 

"Our brand has been nourishing young minds for more than 100 years, and we believe that reading and literacy go hand-in-hand with good nutrition to support a life-long love of learning," said Tom Buddig, executive vice president marketing, Carl Buddig & Company. "We're proud to embark on this new partnership with RIF and to award this donation to benefit children's literacy and motivate families to read together."

Consumers will be encouraged to join the Be A Reader campaign and participate in fun reading activities through two national consumer promotions. This summer children and parents will have the opportunity to read a book together online and share an essay about their experience for a chance to win one of three $1,000 scholarships. This fall families can participate in a sweepstakes for a chance to win a Scholastic book library and other prizes.

Throughout the yearlong Be A Reader campaign, RIF and Buddig will host local reading celebration events and book distributions to provide free books and literacy resources to young children who rarely experience the thrill of owning their own books. Be A Reader kicked off this month in Chicago with a book distribution and read-aloud event featuring award-winning author/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the popular Lunch Lady book series.

"As an author I know first-hand how important reading is to providing kids the foundation they need for all learning, and that starts by developing a passion for books at an early age," said Jarrett Krosoczka. "Be A Reader will provide free books and needed literacy resources to thousands of deserving children who need them the most."

"Now more than ever, RIF is counting on strong corporate partners like Carl Buddig & Company to fulfill its mission of motivating children to become lifelong readers prepared to achieve in school and life," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF.  "Be A Reader gives parents and children several ways to discover the joy of reading through engaging learning activities that make reading a fun part of everyday life."

To learn more about the Be A Reader campaign, participate in reading activities or to make a donation, visit www.RIF.org or www.Buddig.com.

About Carl Buddig & Company:

Carl Buddig & Company, based in Homewood, Ill., has been nourishing young minds for more than 100 years with the very best in taste, variety and convenience. Now Buddig is nourishing young minds as a proud supporter of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). Carl Buddig & Company is a family-owned, privately held company managed by the third generation of the original founder. The Buddig family business got its start as a butcher shop on Chicago's south side in the 1880s. Since 1940 Carl Buddig & Company has offered thin-sliced lean meats for sandwiches, snacks and special recipes. Visit www.buddig.com for more information about Carl Buddig products.

About Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF):

Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provided 4 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources last year. For more information and to access reading resources, visit RIF's website at www.rif.org.

Discover the Joy!

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The following pictures are available for download:

[Image] Be A Reader Kicks Off with Author Jarrett Krosoczka
[Image] Be A Reader Kicks Off with Author Jarrett Krosoczka

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