Samantha Harris of DWTS and ET on Feeding America’s Hungry Children

Samantha Harris Works with Feeding America.Org to Help Stop Childhood Hunger in America

We caught Samantha Harris, formally co-host of Dancing With The Stars and Entertainment Tonight, and recently on Stars Earn Strips, at the GBK Gifting Suites for the 2012 Oscars. Stars come out to support great charities and businesses that often support their own charities.

I really love this charity as past Los Angeles Coordinator of Feed333 which for 3 years running, was the nations #1 largest one day food giveaway, I am familiar with the hunger issue in America and it is not just about the homeless. We are talking about the working poor in this country. Below you will find statistics that should make us all a bit embarrassed.

What a great honor it was to get to interview such a well known interviewer. I did not ask her how I did, but I can tell you how cool Samantha was.

I left a little leader on this interview to show you what I mean. She was in a hurry and we had camera issues. She just dealt and came back when we fixed it.

She told me that she was not new to technical difficulties. Even though she has interviewed some of the most important or well known people of our time she made me feel so comfortable… Thanks Samantha. - JW

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Samantha HarrisSamantha Harris

A seasoned entertainment news journalist and two-time Emmy-nominated TV personality, Samantha Harris was recently seen co-hosting Stars Earn Strips  with General Wesley Clark four-star general as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander on NBC. She commentated the action for a plethora of celebrities as they competed on special forces missions. Samantha is also well known for her work on the world’s #1 entertainment news program, Entertainment Tonight, as correspondent.  In just her first months with the show, she covered the Cannes Film Festival, traveled to two film sets in Hawaii (for interviews with Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman), and also interviewed stars such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Russell Crowe, Sting, Cate Blanchett, Michael Douglas and more!

Samantha is best-known for her eight seasons co-hosting the live ABC hit Dancing With The Stars, which averaged more than 30 million viewers weekly and was the #2 most-watched show in the U.S. in each of those years.  In Season 2, she even kicked up her heals on the ballroom floor to perform a Jive routine with World Smooth Champion and DWTS professional dancer Jonathan Roberts.

Simultaneously with her time on DWTS, Samantha pulled double hosting duty as she passionately shared her opinion nightly as a panelist and correspondent on the entertainment news program CBS Television Distribution’s The Insider.

In her first year with the program, she covered President Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C.; surfed the North Coast of Oahu during an interview with 19-year-old surfing champion Bethany Hamilton – who lost her arm to a shark attack at age 13; interviewed Oprah in Chicago and Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan in LA, in the days following her father’s death; as well as interviewed Hollywood’s A-list on the red carpet at the Emmys, SAG Awards, Golden Globes and Oscars.

Additionally, Samantha made her Broadway debut in summer 2009 in New York City, singing and dancing for sold-out audiences playing the iconic role of “Roxie Hart” in the long-running musical CHICAGO.

Samantha has been seen on a myriad of TV shows, including: filling in for Meredith Vieira as a guest host for a week on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire; multiple times as a guest host on ABC’s The View; contributing as a special correspondent on ABC’s Good Morning America.

One of her greatest honors was hosting, alongside Regis Philbin, the live official red carpet pre-show for ABC’s 80th Annual Academy Awards: Road To the Red Carpet, which garnered nearly one billion viewers worldwide.

samantha harrisBeginning in January 2005 and continuing for four years, Harris was seen in over 130 countries in 600 million homes on E! Entertainment Television.  In addition to writing, producing and reporting daily for E! News, she co-hosted the network’s live award-show coverage for the Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmys.  Samantha has also found herself reporting from inside San Quentin Penitentiary as host for E!’s THS Investigates, a spin-off series from the producers of E! True Hollywood Story.

Prior to her work on The Insider and E!, Samantha served as the weekend co-host and full-time correspondent for the nationally syndicated entertainment news magazine Extra which she joined in 2003.  As a correspondent who sought out unique stories, Samantha took to the stage performing with Cirque du Soleil, sang a duet with Wayne Newton during his live show in Las Vegas, as well as dancing her way into the arms of the late beloved Patrick Swayze backstage, while he was starring in the LA tour-stop of Chicago.

Samantha’s other hosting credits include FOX’s The Next Joe Millionaire, AMC Access (a show produced by NBC’s Access Hollywood forthe AMC network).

Harris’ triple-threat talents were noticed within her first years living in Los Angeles.  Hot off the North American musical tour Eric Idle Exploits Monty Python (where Samantha’s comedic, vocal, and dance performance electrified audiences at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and other prestigious venues), CBS cast her as America’s sweetheart, “Dawn Wells aka Mary Ann”, in its made-for-TV movie Surviving Gilligan’s Island.  Samantha’s other acting credits include the multi-award winning Reefer Madness!: The New “Hit” Musical(original cast) as well as multiple feature films and television shows.

In addition to gracing the cover of Muscle & Fitness HERS magazine a record four times,Samantha has also been seen on the covers of a variety of other magazine including USA Today magazine, FIRST, Fit Parent.  She has been featured inmany magazines including SHAPE, People, Health, Self, and others.  As a fitness enthusiast, she loves dancing, cardio-sculpting, Bikram yoga but will also confess… she’s a dessert fanatic!

Samantha is actively involved in various charities. She is on the Entertainment Council of Feeding America and has actively supported the Revlon Run/Walk and What A Pair for cancer research, Operation Smile, P.S. Arts, the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America and others.

In 2009, Samantha was given the honor of making her Wall Street debut by ‘Ringing The Bell’ to open trading at the New York Stock Exchange in front of a television audience of more than 120 million.

Born and raised in Hopkins, MN by a rock concert promoter father and dancer mother – who together created and produced one of the country’s first Renaissance festivals, King Richard’s Faire– Samantha went on to graduate with honors from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, IL.  She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, with her husband, Michael, and their two daughters, Josselyn and Hillary.

So now that Samantha is not with Dancing with The Stars and E! Entertainment, what is she up to? Samantha has teamed up with the charity Feeding America and its partner Nestle’s Juicy Juice as the spokesperson for this summer’s Fruit For All Project, which will donate 35 million pieces of fresh fruit to children and families in need.”

For more info and photos of Samantha Harris, go to www.samantha-harris.com

Feeding America

In many ways, America is the land of plenty. But for 1 in 6 people in the United States, hunger is a reality. Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different.

Right now, millions of Americans are struggling with hunger.  These are often hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days.

It’s time to educate ourselves about the causes of hunger in America.

Feeding America is the nation’s leading hunger-relief charity. Through its network of more than 200 food banks, Feeding America provides assistance to more than 25 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States each year.

Take the Hunger Quiz

Hunger & Poverty Statistics

Although related, food insecurity and poverty are not the same.  Unemployment rather than poverty is a stronger predictor of food insecurity.

Poverty [1]

  • In 2009, 43.6 million people (14.3 percent) were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 8.8 million (11.1% percent) families were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 24.7 million (12.9 percent) of people ages 18-64 were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 15.5 million (20.7 percent) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 3.4 million (8.9 percent) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.

Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security[2]

  • In 2010, 48.8 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 32.6 million adults and 16.2 million children.
  • In 2010, 14.5 percent of households (17.2 million households) were food insecure.
  • In 2010, 5.4 percent of households (6.4 million households) experienced very low food security.
  • In 2010, households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.2 percent compared to 11.7 percent.
  • In 2010, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (20.2 percent), especially households with children headed by single women (35.1 percent) or single men (25.4 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (25.1 percent) and Hispanic households (26.2 percent).
  • In 2009, 8.0 percent of seniors living alone (925,000 households) were food insecure.
  • Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 5 percent in Steele County, ND to a high of 38 percent in Wilcox County, AL.[3]

Nine states exhibited statistically significant higher household food insecurity rates than the U.S. national average 2008-2010:1

 United States                    14.6%
 Mississippi                      19.4%
 Texas                            18.8%
 Arkansas                         18.6%
 Alabama                          17.3%
 Georgia                          16.9%
 Ohio                             16.4%
 Florida                          16.1%
 California                       15.9%
 North Carolina                   15.7%

Use of Emergency Food Assistance and Federal Food Assistance Programs

  • In 2010, 4.8 percent of all U.S. households (5.6 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.2
  • In 2010, 59.2 percent of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the three major Federal food assistance programs –Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamp Program), The National School Lunch Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.2
  • Feeding America provides emergency food assistance to an estimated 37 million low-income people annually, a 46 percent increase from 25 million since Hunger in America 2010.[4]
  • Among members of Feeding America, 74 percent of pantries, 65 percent of kitchens, and 54 percent of shelters reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites.4

[1] U.S. Census Bureau. Carmen  DeNavas-Walt, B. Proctor, C. Lee.  Income, Poverty, and Heath Insurance Coverage in the United States:  2009.

[2] USDA. Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, M., Andrews, M., & Carlson, S.  Household Food Security in the United States in 2010.

[3] Feeding America. Gundersen, G., Waxman, E., Engelhard, E., & Brown, J. Map the Meal Gap, 2011.

[4]Rhoda Cohen, J., Mabli, F., Potter, Z., Zhao. Mathematica Policy Research, Feeding America.  Hunger in America 2010.  February 2010.


[i] U.S. Department of Labor.Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2010 Annual Average Unemployment Rates.

Feeding America Website

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Thanks to GBK Events – Gavin and his great staff. As always you host the best.

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One Response to Samantha Harris of DWTS and ET on Feeding America’s Hungry Children

  1. Our prayers go out to Samantha and her family during this tough time.

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