Make a Difference with Global Hunger

Primary tabs

Make a Difference with Global Hunger

by David Novak
tweet me:
Make a difference with global #hunger via @courierjournal by @YumBrands #CEO David Novak #PassTheRedCup
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 12:35pm

CAMPAIGN: 2014 World Hunger Relief: #PassTheRedCup

CONTENT: Article

Every fall, we host our annual World Hunger Relief dinner. It is always a fun-filled, well-attended event with delicious food and great music. More importantly, the funds raised help benefit a critical global issue that isn't always top of mind like it should be — feeding starving women and children around the world.

It is a harsh reality that one in eight people on Earth goes to bed hungry each night. To provide some perspective, consider more people will die from hunger this year than AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and war combined.

Global hunger is an incredibly complex problem impacted by natural disasters, conflict, poverty, poor agricultural infrastructure, higher food prices and over-exploitation of the environment. Recently, we have seen the devastating reports from South Sudan which is facing one of the most threatening hunger crises in the world. Armed conflicts and floods are impacting more than 1.3 million people there.

Our Yum and brand leaders, franchisees and I have also witnessed the crippling effects of hunger first-hand on relief trips with the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) to places like Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti. It is always very difficult meeting mothers and children living in extreme poverty who are affected by hunger. However, it is also motivation to help find a solution to this critical issue.

It can be easy to assume that the problem of hunger is far away and isolated to third world countries. But the truth is that hunger is everywhere and it impacts all of us. Millions of children go to sleep hungry in the U.S. every night. Even in Kentucky, one in four children is at risk of going to bed hungry.

While solving an issue like global hunger may seem daunting, we can make a difference.

At Yum! Brands, we recognize we have the privilege and responsibility to lead the fight to end hunger. The Yum! Harvest program annually donates nearly $60 million in prepared food to U.S. food banks and homeless shelters, and we're now beginning to launch that effort around the world. Locally, we have supported Dare to Care Food Bank's incredible hunger relief efforts, donating $1 million annually for the past 12 years.

To address hunger on a global scale, we created World Hunger Relief in 2007 to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds for the WFP and other hunger relief agencies. The effort has raised more than $185 million in cash and food donations thanks to the generosity of our customers, franchisees and employees around the world. The money has provided nearly 750 million nutritious meals for hungry children and families.

We are thankful to WFP for their incredible life-saving hunger relief efforts, and to our global ambassador, Christina Aguilera, for her passion to raise awareness and inspire people to get involved, including her #PassTheRedCup social challenge this year. We are especially proud of our 1.5 million associates around the globe who are volunteering in their local communities to fight hunger.

While progress has been made, there is still so much work to do with nearly 850 million people going hungry around the world.

What can you do to make a difference?

Donate food to Dare to Care or other hunger relief organizations in Louisville, volunteer at a local shelter, discuss this issue with your friends and family and ask them to get involved. Or you can make a financial contribution to any hunger relief organization — just $1 donated to the WFP will feed a school meal to four starving kids in third world countries.

Please join the movement to end hunger. Together, we can make a difference and help those who need our assistance move from hunger to hope.

David Novak is chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands Inc.

To learn more ...

Go to or to purchase tickets for YUM's World Hunger Relief dinner on Saturday, Sept. 20, visit

Keywords: #PassTheRedCup | Philanthropy | Business & Trade | Community | Corporate Social Responsibility | David Novak | Expert Connections | The Courier-Journal | Volunteerism & Community Engagement | World Hunger Relief | Yum! Brands

CAMPAIGN: 2014 World Hunger Relief: #PassTheRedCup

CONTENT: Article