Louisville, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) announced today the launch of its annual hunger relief effort to help stop world hunger. World Hunger Relief supports the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other hunger relief agencies. Nearly 36,000 company and franchised restaurants located in over 100 countries will be participating, including KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Food.
The company is planning to make a significant announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative on Thursday, September 25, regarding its on-going commitment to provide world hunger relief.
"Hunger is unacceptable. As a society, we should not and can not tolerate the fact that 850 million people are starving and go to bed hungry every day. As the world's largest restaurant company, we believe it is our privilege and responsibility to find a meaningful solution to this critical problem," said David C. Novak, Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands.
Global hunger has reached epic proportions – reaching nearly 1 billion people – due to the convergence of higher commodity and global food prices; increased competition for products that produce energy; severe droughts and floods due to climate change and increasing demand from growing economies in Asia and South America.
"Yum! Brands is determined to be a leader in wiping out hunger. We are committed to raise awareness, volunteerism and money to address this problem. We hope to move millions of people from hunger to hope through our efforts," said Novak.
In 2007, Yum! launched its first global effort (World Hunger Relief Week). The campaign was an overwhelming success, raising $16 million in one week for the WFP and other hunger relief agencies, and creating the world's largest volunteer movement.
The funds directed to WFP fed 1.6 million hungry people throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. One-million company and franchise employees mobilized around the globe generating 4 million volunteer hours in local communities and raising funds from the more than 115 million customers that visit its restaurants each week. The total value of monetary donations, food donations, awareness campaign and volunteer hours topped U.S. $187 million. Based on this initial success, Yum! is extending its World Hunger Relief campaign beyond one week to nearly one month this year.
"Last year's campaign allowed WFP the flexibility to direct the funds raised to its most pressing needs, including shoring up our school feeding program in Ethiopia," said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the World Food Programme. "The impact was even greater because it came at a time when the high food price crisis was just beginning to affect the hungry people we serve."
This year, Mariah Carey, the most popular female singer in history, will be featured in World Hunger Relief restaurant posters as Hunger Ambassador with the quote, "The change from hunger to hope starts with you." Customers who donate to the World Hunger Relief campaign at participating KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's or A&W Restaurants around the globe will receive a special, free download of her song, "Love Story" from her newest CD E=MC2.
Muhammad Ali's wife, Lonnie Ali, will be the voiceover for the campaign's global television advertisements and Public Service Announcement. In the ads, Ali's voice creates a call to action that we can not let women and children die everyday.
The company's employees and franchisees will be volunteering their time around the globe at hunger relief agencies, food banks, soup kitchens and launching fundraisers.
The Yum! Foundation also will be donating to the cause by covering the WFP's administrative fee so that funds collected from customers and employees will go directly toward feeding people. Funds raised for WFP go directly to the areas of greatest need, feeding poor school children in the developing world and helping villages become self-sustainable. Every U.S. dollar raised during World Hunger Relief 2008 will provide 4 meals for hungry children all over the world.
During this year's World Hunger Relief campaign, Yum! plans to generate the equivalent of nearly $50 million in awareness of the hunger issue through television and print advertising, public service announcements, public relations, web-based communications and in-restaurant posters and signage. In addition, the company is leveraging the power of the internet to reach millions of people through the www.fromhungertohope.com website and other on-line activity.
Yum! and its brands have been committed to fighting hunger for more than a decade by donating more than $46 million of prepared food annually to the underprivileged in the United States. Since the company went public in 1997, it has donated over $500 million of its food to hunger relief agencies in the U.S. The company also has been the primary sponsor of the Dare To Care Food Bank based in Louisville, Kentucky for eight years, and has donated $8 million to this local Agency.
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Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, is the world's largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants, with nearly 36,000 restaurants in over 100 countries and territories. The company is ranked #253 on the Fortune 500 List, with revenues in excess of $10 billion in 2007. Four of the company's restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Long John Silver's – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza, Mexican-style food and quick-service seafood categories, respectively. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened about four new restaurants each day of the year, making it the largest retail developer in the world. The company has consistently been recognized for its reward and recognition culture, diversity leadership, community giving, and consistent shareholder returns. Since its spin-off as a publicly-traded company in 1997, its stock has more than quadrupled. Last year, the company launched the world's largest private sector hunger relief effort, in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme and other hunger relief agencies. This effort helped save over 1.6 million people from starvation in remote corners of the world, where hunger is most prevalent.
Island Def Jam (IDJ) has partnered with the leading provider of digital download services, Neurotic Media, to support Yum!'s World Hunger Relief movement and Mariah Carey's "Love Story" song download giveaway. Neurotic Media generated the redemption codes for the giveaway, hosts the redemption mini-site, and delivers the MP3 globally for this promotion. To achieve the necessary robustness for the service, Neurotic Media worked closely with their technology partners, Akamai and Internap, to assist in back-end service - gifts-in-kind - to ensure that as much revenue as possible goes toward the World Hunger Relief movement. Internap provides IP services and bandwidth capacity for the Neurotic Media data center in Atlanta, GA; and Akamai support CDN services with edge caching to support the program on a global basis. Neurotic Media monitors the activity and provides aggregated, comprehensive reporting data to IDJ.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency and the UN's frontline agency for hunger solutions. This year, WFP plans to feed around 90 million people in 80 countries.