The Balancing Act on Lifetime with Pizza Hut

The following segment aired on “The Balancing Act” on Lifetime Television. Joining the show was Kristin Wertz to discuss Pizza Hut’s world hunger relief efforts.

The Balancing Act: Welcome back to “The Balancing Act” and now, before the break, I gave you a behind the scenes look at my very own balancing act and while some days really do feel like a struggle for me, I know my challenges.  Well, they’re nothing compared with the millions of moms out there just struggling to serve their children a well-balanced meal.  In fact, worldwide an average one in seven children go to bed hungry every night, but there are ways we can all help fight world hunger.  Joining “The Balancing Act” to help explain this morning is Kristin Wertz.  She leads Corporate Social Responsibility for Pizza Hut, which is conducting a world hunger relief effort right now.  Hey, Kristin, good morning.

Wertz: Hi, good morning.

The Balancing Act: It’s good to see you and, you know, when I hear that statistic one in seven kids go to bed hungry every night—staggering—why is this?

Wertz: Yes, one in seven, it is staggering and, in fact, one billion people right now in the world are suffering from chronic hunger and also right now we look at currently food production right now is not keeping up with our current population trends and that’s so hard to understand.  Food prices are on the rise and it’s just really an unbelievable situation that we are in with this economic uncertainty.

The Balancing Act: Yeah, it’s interesting you say that because I think when people see the images of starving children on the news in other countries, they think “okay, not in my back yard,” but it is happening in our back yard and it is happening worldwide.  So, that’s why your campaign is called “The World Hunger Relief Campaign” because hunger is something that can happen to anyone, anywhere, right.  Tell me about it.

Wertz: Yes, the World Hunger Relief Campaign was started just four years ago by our parent company, Yum Brands, and it was started with this vision by our CEO, David Novak, and he just decided that it was so important for us as this company that is a leading restaurant company for the world to really have an impact in our community.  And, we’ve kind of come around this effort and it’s really been phenomenal to see overall.  Throughout the four years, we’ve raised eighty-five million dollars.

The Balancing Act: Wow.

Wertz: And also the employees have been phenomenal.  We have 1.4 million employees globally and also those employees have volunteered twenty-one million hours throughout the past four years, so it’s really exciting.

The Balancing Act: It’s great to hear that employees actually are getting involved in this.  What can consumers to do help end world hunger?

Wertz: Yes, there are some great opportunities this year for consumers.  We’re really excited to share those.  Right now, consumers can jump on to online donations or they can go into stores.  Also, we have some really exciting news to share about our Zynga opportunity.  So Zynga is an online social game developer and so some popular games that you have heard of like Farmville, Cityville, Pioneertrail, and Empires and Alleys.  So players can go and purchase a limited edition, exclusive item and then they can make this donation and all of those proceeds go to World Hunger Relief.  And also, it’s great for all of those on-the-go people.

The Balancing Act: Ding, ding, ding.

Wertz: Yes, like you.  It’s really easy to just go ahead and donate on your phone so you can text phhope to 90999 and that’s a five dollar donation.  And all of these opportunities whether you’re in the store or on-line, everything a hundred percent goes to World Food Program.

The Balancing Act: Tell you, so there’s no excuse, right?  How much do you think you guys can raise, by the way?

Wertz: Our goal this year is 2.5 million dollars.

The Balancing Act: Is it really?

Wertz: Yes, and we’re so excited to announce that we are halfway to our goal.

The Balancing Act: Oh, high five, halfway to your goal, that’s amazing, that’s great.

Wertz: We’re so excited.  It’s been phenomenal to see just how the restaurants and the franchisees and the customers are just really amazing to recognize that this is something that, just really a part of their lives and close to their hearts.  So, it’s great to see that impact.

The Balancing Act: Well, it’s an ambitious goal but I have no doubt, my dear, that you all will reach it and thank you so much, Kristin, for coming to “The Balancing Act” and sharing this with us this morning!

Wertz: Well, thank you so much, it’s been a pleasure to be here.

The Balancing Act: And if you want more information on pizza hut’s world hunger relief campaign, head to the website.  It’s pizzahut.com/slicesofhope.

The Balancing Act is the only morning show in America produced by women specifically for women. Every morning, The Balancing Act on Lifetime hosts Danielle Knox and Kristy Villa tackle the issues that face today’s woman. Popular show segments include live weather updates with Mark Mancuso, surprise celebrity visitors, and news about the latest trends affecting your life, home, career and family. The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television airs daily on Lifetime at 7 a.m. ET/PT. For more information, visit The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television’s website at www.thebalancingact.com.

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