Bearing Witness

by Billy Shore

Behind the scenes with Jeff Bridges during No Kid Hungry launch

Monday, June 13, 2011


  In response to several questions about spending time with Jeff Bridges I thought I’d share this glimpse of life behind the scenes with our favorite national spokesperson.  He was in D.C. last Monday and Tuesday for the launch of our No Kid Hungry campaign in Virginia and a media tour that included CNN, FOX and Hardball on MSNBC.

 The most telling time is probably when we are in the car together between stops. As you’d expect, there is the occasional reference to movies he’s made, or directors with whom he’s worked, and such Hollywood gossip is always fun to be around. But unlike some celebrities who withdraw until they are “on”, Jeff spends almost the entire time asking hard and thoughtful questions about our strategy and about the conditions of hungry kids in America: “How close to success are we in our best state? What other governors are likely to be influenced by Governor McDonnell’s example? Who has the most credible information on SNAP beneficiaries? What strategies do schools use to eliminate the stigma of getting a free breakfast?”

It’s one of those refreshingly rare examples of someone whose on-stage and back-stage persona are one and the same. It affirmed my own sense that as exciting as it is to be working with Jeff Bridges, or CBS’s Scott Pelley who spoke at our recent NY event, or Vermont Senator Leahy who spoke at our DC dinner, the real VIP’s are not the celebrities but those whose work has attracted the celebrities in the first place: the talented team at Share Our Strength. Jeff Bridges made the point himself at the National Press Club last November and again in a recent interview when he said: “Working to end childhood hunger is the most significant thing I’ve ever done.”