MONROE, La., July 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) employees and local communities raised approximately $665,000 in the 2016 CenturyLink Backpack Buddies Food Drive, which took place June 6-17. The drive supported 144 food banks in communities the company serves across the United States.

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To further support the annual food drive, the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation contributed $1 million to local food bank beneficiaries based on the amount of donations they received through the online donation site. Food banks that offer backpack programs were asked to direct 50 percent of their gifts from the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation to those programs.

Food Banks can provide an average of six meals for each dollar they receive. Therefore, the CenturyLink Backpack Buddies Food Drive will help provide almost 10 million meals throughout its communities.

CenturyLink started its annual Backpack Buddies Food Drive in 2009. The goals of the yearly drive are to generate donations for local food banks and help raise awareness of the need for backpack programs. Backpack programs are crucial to children who rely on school breakfasts and lunches to meet their nutritional needs each day. These programs provide nutritional, shelf-stable meals for at-risk students over weekends and school breaks.

"We're happy to have partnered with so many local agencies in the communities CenturyLink serves to support their efforts to fight hunger," said CenturyLink's Manager of Community Relations Kristy LaCroix. "We hope that our food drive has helped raise awareness of the hunger relief needs across our markets, as well as across the nation."

According to Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger relief organization, the Feeding America network provides emergency food assistance to an estimated 46.5 million people annually, including 12 million children and seven million seniors.

About CenturyLink
CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company enabling millions of customers to transform their businesses and their lives through innovative technology solutions. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, Big Data analytics and IT consulting, and operates more than 55 data centers in North America, Europe and Asia. The company provides broadband, voice, video, data and managed services over a robust 250,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 300,000-route-mile international transport network. Visit CenturyLink for more information.

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SOURCE CenturyLink, Inc.