Yum! Brands, operator of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, announced the roll-out of its yearly World Hunger Relief campaign, with Grammy Award winning singer Christina Aguilera acting as their global spokesperson.
The United Nations says that the number of people around the world who go hungry everyday reaches a staggering one billion. Malnutrition and hunger are known to be the top risks to health in the world today—the harm it does to humanity turns out to be more enormous than malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS all combined. Among the principal reasons for the catastrophe are poverty, conflict, natural disasters, environmental abuse and inferior agricultural infrastructure.
Yum! Brand’s World Hunger Relief campaign is the biggest private sector initiative to aid food shortage and starvation around the world. The initiative spans 110 countries, a total of 38,000 Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC restaurants, and over 1 million franchise associates and employees in smart-looking aprons.
“We are all dedicated to help in finding a solution to the critical issue of world hunger, as there are almost 1 billion people who go hungry everyday in the world,” said Yum! Brand’s CEO and Chairman David Novak. “As a firm with a big heart, we do believe that it is our responsibility and privilege to assist in any way we can to create a difference in people’s lives.”
Aguilera’s PSA will begin to air in mid-October, and she will also be featured in the World Hunger Relief posters of Yum! Brand’s restaurants. She has been the campaign’s global spokesperson since 2009, as well as one of the ambassadors for the United Nation’s World Food Program. Every U.S. dollar that the campaign raises will go straight to WFP’s outreach operations. A donation of $1 dollar can already provide a total of 4 meals for hungry schoolchildren in developing countries.
The company also made a pledge during the Clinton Global Initiative in 2008 to raise and donate not less than $80 million to aid the United Nation’s World Food Program; grant 200 million meals for starving school children in underdeveloped countries; contribute 20 million hours of volunteer service done by their employees in quality, inexpensive aprons; provide $200 million worth of its restaurants’ prepared food to feeding agencies in the U.S.; and use Yum! Brand’s marketing influence to increase people’s awareness of the world’s hunger problem, as well as encourage them to get involved.
Now, three years after it made its pledge, Yum! was pleased to report that it has gone beyond its commitment, having raised a total of almost $85 million for the WFP through its World Hunger Relief Program, as well as being able to provide a total of 350 million meals for afflicted people in remote areas around the world.
It has also announced its intention to direct the first $1 million proceeds of this year’s campaign to the families affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa. The serious drought, which has affected the whole East African region, is said to be the most terrible in 60 years, and has brought about a severe food crisis across Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Kenya. Tens of thousands of people have died in the said regions, which prompted the United Nations to make simultaneous official declarations of famine in every region that has been afflicted since July 20 this year.