MONROE, La., Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) employees and the company's local communities collected 106,275 actual pounds of food and $271,900 in the 2012 CenturyLink Feed the Children Backpack Buddies Food Drive, which took place June 25-29 in approximately 650 company locations across the country.

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To further support its employees' efforts, the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation contributed $1 million to the drive.

Food banks can purchase food at a lower cost per pound than the average person could at a store, estimated on average to be six pounds of food per dollar given. Based on this calculation, CenturyLink employees, community members and the Foundation donated more than 7.7 million pounds of food to food banks across the country.

"We appreciate our friends and neighbors who joined with our employees nationwide in this worthwhile endeavor to improve the quality of life in our communities," said CenturyLink CEO and President Glen F. Post, III. "Together, we are working to help address the hunger issue faced by millions of people across the country."

According to the 2010 Hunger Study by Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger relief organization, 37 million Americans, including 14 million children, are receiving food assistance annually, an increase of 46 percent since 2006. That means one in eight Americans now rely on Feeding America and its nationwide network of local food banks.

Thirty-six percent of the households that food banks serve have at least one person working, and more than one-third of client households report having to choose between food and other basic necessities such as rent, utilities and medical care.

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States. The company provides broadband, voice, wireless and managed services to consumers and businesses across the country. It also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLinkTM PrismTM TV and DIRECTV brands. In addition, the company provides data, voice and managed services to enterprise, government and wholesale customers in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers. CenturyLink is recognized as a leader in the network services market by key technology industry analyst firms, and is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises through Savvis, a CenturyLink company. CenturyLink's customers range from Fortune 500 companies in some of the country's largest cities to families living in rural America. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America's largest corporations. For more information, visit www.centurylink.com.

SOURCE CenturyLink, Inc.