9-12-13 10:55 AM EDT | Email Article

Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), parent company 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.

Christina Aguilera uses her powerful voice in the fight against hunger in a new PSA for Yum! Brands  ...

Christina Aguilera uses her powerful voice in the fight against hunger in a new PSA for Yum! Brands World Hunger Relief effort launching in KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants worldwide to benefit the UN World Food Programme and others. Nearly 1 billion people are going hungry around the globe and Aguilera is raising awareness as global spokesperson for Yum! Brands World Hunger Relief. To donate, visit HungertoHope.com or text "WHR" to 90999. Join the movement at #letsendhunger @WldHungerRelief @yumbrands. (Photo: Business Wire)

According to the United Nations, there are nearly 1 billion people around the world who are hungry. Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief effort is the world’s largest private sector hunger relief initiative, spanning more than 130 countries and territories, over 39,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants and nearly 1.5 million employees. The initiative began in 2007 in an effort to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other hunger relief agencies.

The new PSA includes footage from Aguilera’s recent field visit to Rwanda where she witnessed the effects of hunger first hand and helped beneficiaries of WFP’s nutrition programs. Aguilera served food to hungry children who walk miles to and from school each day to receive a hot meal through WFP’s school meals program. She also traveled to a refugee camp that houses more than 18,000 people living in small man-made huts. She spent time with mothers and children at the camp and heard about how they escaped violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Aguilera’s inspirational song, “Light Up the Sky,” plays throughout the :15 and :30 versions of the PSA that will air on television and online starting this month.

In addition to the new public service announcement, Aguilera raises awareness for the issue through new World Hunger Relief posters at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants with the quote “Together, we have the power to save lives and move from hunger to hope,” plus advertising and online efforts, including the campaign’s website, HungertoHope.com. She has served as global spokesperson for Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief effort since 2009 where her participation has helped raise millions for WFP and other hunger relief agencies. She also serves as an “Ambassador Against Hunger” for WFP where she has traveled on relief trips with the organization to Guatemala, Haiti and Rwanda.

“I’m deeply moved by the many hungry mothers and children that I met in Rwanda,” said Aguilera. “My goal with Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief is to inspire as many people as possible to donate to the cause and move millions of children from hunger to hope. It’s important for people to know that for just 25 cents a day, we can feed a child in school and be part of the solution,” said Aguilera.

“We believe that it is our privilege and responsibility to do everything we can to make a difference in global hunger and save lives,” said David Novak, Chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands, Inc. “Christina is an incredible spokesperson for World Hunger Relief, helping us raise global awareness and inspiring people to get involved. We are also grateful for the important work that the World Food Programme is doing every day to feed millions of hungry children and women in developing countries. I’m especially proud of the 1.5 million Yum! associates, franchisees and their families that are volunteering in their local communities to address the problem,” said Novak.

“We are grateful for our long-standing partnership with Yum! Brands and their World Hunger Relief campaign,” said Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of WFP. “The campaign has provided millions of meals for the hungry poor demonstrating how, when we all take action together, even the smallest individual donation can help change a life.”

Since its beginning in 2007, Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief effort has raised nearly $150 million for WFP and other hunger relief organizations and is helping to provide approximately 600 million meals and save the lives of millions of people in remote corners of the world. Nearly 1.5 million of the Company’s employees, franchisees and their families have volunteered millions of hours to aid hunger relief efforts in communities worldwide. In 2012, World Food Program USA honored Aguilera and Novak at the State Department with the George McGovern Leadership Award for their hunger relief efforts.

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 exploitation of the environment.

Consumers can visit HungertoHope.com, donate in KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants worldwide (no purchase necessary - see calendar below for U.S. campaign dates) or text “WHR” to 90999. 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 PSAs, 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.

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 nearly 160 million pounds of food, with a value of more than $700 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 11 years, and has donated over $11 million to this local agency.

Campaign Calendar: World Hunger Relief kicks off this fall campaign in the U.S. with Pizza Hut on September 22, Taco Bell on September 26 and KFC on September 30.

Join the movement at #letsendhunger @WldHungerRelief @yumbrands.

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 39,000 restaurants in more than 130 countries and territories. Yum! is ranked #201 on the Fortune 500 List with revenues of over $13 billion in 2012 and in 2013 was named among the top 100 Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. The Company's restaurant brands - KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell - are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened over five new restaurants per day, making it a leader in international retail development.

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in more than 80 countries with food assistance. For more information, visit www.wfp.org.

Yum! Brands, Inc.
Virginia Ferguson, 502-874-8200
Virginia.Ferguson@yum.com
or
Weber Shandwick
Allison Wilson, 310-854-8261
awilson@webershandwick.com

Copyright Business Wire 2013
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