LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), the world's largest restaurant company and parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, announced today the launch of its annual World Hunger Relief effort featuring multi-Grammy Award winner and international superstar Christina Aguilera in a new public service announcement. According to the United Nations, there are nearly 1 billion people around the world who are hungry today.
World Hunger Relief is the world's largest private sector hunger relief effort, spanning 110 countries, 38,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants and more than 1 million employees and franchise associates. The campaign raises awareness, volunteerism and funds for WFP and other hunger relief agencies.
The new PSA captures Aguilera standing on a dark stage that is artistically illuminated by sparkling lights held by children. As Aguilera sings a soulful a capella rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, graphics illustrate how millions of children go to bed hungry. She urges people to join her in turning hunger into hope.
The PSA will start airing in mid-October. Aguilera will also appear in World Hunger Relief restaurant posters with the quote ″Together, we have the power to save lives and go from hunger to hope″ and online efforts, including the campaign's website, FromHungertoHope.com.
Aguilera has served as global spokesperson for World Hunger Relief since 2009. She also serves as an ″Ambassador Against Hunger″ for WFP where she has traveled on relief trips with the organization to Haiti and Guatemala.
″As a mother, I can't accept that children around the globe are going hungry and that's why I'm so passionate about this issue,″ said Aguilera. ″My new PSA for World Hunger Relief is a twist on a classic lullaby but also a reminder that every night, millions of children go to sleep hungry. It gives those children a voice and shows how together, we can give every child a chance to dream,″ added Aguilera.
″With nearly 1 billion people going hungry around the world, as well as the desperate situation in the Horn of Africa, we all need to help find a solution to this critical issue,″ said David Novak, Chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands, Inc.
″We are thankful for Christina's efforts to help us build awareness, inspire volunteerism and raise money to fight hunger. As a company with a huge heart, we believe it is our privilege and responsibility to do everything we can to make a difference and save lives.″
Hunger and malnutrition are the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Among the key causes of hunger are natural disasters, conflict, poverty, poor agricultural infrastructure and over-exploitation of the environment.
Recently, financial and economic crises, coupled with drought, high food prices and conflict affecting more than 13 million in the Horn of Africa, have pushed more people into hunger. Yum! is directing the first $1 million from its World Hunger Relief effort this year to help WFP provide food to families affected by hunger and suffering the effects of drought in the Horn of Africa. Novak and other senior executives and franchise leaders from KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Yum! Restaurants International also traveled to Honduras last month to help WFP's relief efforts in the country.
″The world hunger relief campaign provides life-saving food and nutrition to millions of children, transforming desperation to hope,″ said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP. ″This support enables school meal programs in the world's most food-insecure areas, helping ensure children are not only being nourished, but can attend school, helping break the cycle of hunger and poverty.″
Consumers can visit FromHungertoHope.com or donate in the restaurants (no purchase necessary – see calendar below for dates that each brand's participating restaurants begin their in–store campaign). Every U.S. dollar raised will go directly towards WFP's operations to fight hunger around the world. One U.S. dollar provides four meals for hungry children at school.
Yum! plans to generate the equivalent of nearly $50 million in awareness of the hunger issue through a PSA, advertising, public relations, web–based communications and in–restaurant posters. 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.
Since World Hunger Relief launched in 2007, more than one million of the Company's employees, franchisees and their families have volunteered more than 21 million hours to aid hunger relief efforts in communities worldwide. The effort has raised nearly $85 million for WFP and other hunger relief organizations and is helping to provide more than 350 million meals and save the lives of millions of people in remote corners of the world.
Yum! is also addressing hunger across the U.S. through its Harvest program. Since its launch over two decades ago, Harvest has become the largest prepared-food donation program in the world. Through Harvest, Yum! has donated over 125 million pounds of food, with a value of over $500 million, to those at risk of hunger in the U.S. The Company also has been the primary sponsor of the Dare to Care Food Bank in Louisville for nine years, and has donated nearly $9 million to this local agency.
Campaign Calendar: World Hunger Relief kicks off its fall campaign in the U.S. with Pizza Hut on September 25, Taco Bell on October 6 and KFC on October 17.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Ky., is the world's largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with approximately 38,000 restaurants in more than 110 countries and territories. The company is ranked #214 on the Fortune 500 List, with revenues of more than $11 billion in 2010. Four of the company's restaurant brands - KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and Taco Bell - are the global leaders of the chicken, quick-service seafood, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. A&W Restaurants is the longest running quick-service franchise chain in America. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened approximately four new restaurants each day of the year, making it a leader in international retail development. The company has consistently been recognized for its reward and recognition culture, diversity leadership, community giving, and consistent shareholder returns.
WFP is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.wfp.org.