Pizza Hut Surpasses 100 Million Pounds of Food Donated Through Harvest Program

Pizza company created food donation program 25 years ago in partnership with Food Donation Connection to feed those in need
Jun 30, 2017 10:30 AM ET

PLANO, Texas, June 29, 2017 /3BL Media/ - Pizza Hut and community-based hunger relief organizations are celebrating a major milestone today: surpassing 100 million pounds of food donated by Pizza Hut to feed those in need locally and across the country. Since 1992, Pizza Hut restaurants have donated food to hunger relief organizations nationwide through its Harvest Program, a program originated by the company 25 years ago in partnership with Food Donation Connection (FDC).

As many as one in eight Americans face food insecurity, while 30-40 percent of all food produced is thrown away even though much of it is safe to eat. One hundred million pounds of food is enough to provide a meal to 100 million people in need. It is enough to feed the 7.1 million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area each week for 14 weeks.   

“For 25 years, we’ve been working with thousands of organizations to reduce food waste and feed those in need,” said Artie Starrs, President of Pizza Hut U.S., headquartered in Plano, Texas. “It’s wonderful to pause and recognize the many hard-working, compassionate organizations who do so much for our communities. It’s a pleasure to share this milestone with them, our communities, our team members and franchisees, nationwide.”

Pizza Hut restaurants donate to 2,500 organizations nationwide with the help of FDC, which links individual restaurants to hunger relief organizations. FDC was founded by former Pizza Hut executive Bill Reighard, who saw a need to help the company reduce food waste.

Reighard realized surplus food that was safe to eat should not be discarded but rather donated to local feeding organizations. After launching the Harvest program internally, he left Pizza Hut and created FDC in 1992 with Pizza Hut as its first donor partner. Today, Reighard’s company works with more than 17,000 restaurants and 10,000 hunger relief groups across the U.S. and in other countries.

“Pizza Hut led the charge,” said Reighard, who is FDC’s president. “It’s wonderful to celebrate this milestone and to recognize that the Pizza Hut commitment still inspires other big brands, as well as independent restaurants, to fight food waste and feed people in need in their communities. Our work would not be possible without companies like Pizza Hut and the many caring organizations like Dallas LIFE that participate in Harvest programs.” 

Starrs made today’s announcement to an audience gathered at Dallas LIFE, one of the 45 Dallas-Fort Worth area organizations participating in the Pizza Hut Harvest program. Representatives of some of those organizations participated along with public officials, Pizza Hut franchisees, team members and others.

“Pizza Hut is a global brand whose people are very mindful of their communities,” said Rev. Bob Sweeney, Executive Director of Dallas LIFE. “We are grateful for their dedication to building stronger communities — whether it’s through Pizza Hut food donations, the company’s 10-year commitment to impact 100 million lives by promoting literacy, or its Life Unboxed EDU program that encourages employees and their families to continue their educations.”

Pizza Hut remains FDC’s largest donor partner. Its restaurants donate error pizzas, no-show pizzas and breadsticks, plus surplus pizza and pasta. Local organizations collect the surplus food for use in their community feeding programs.

Pizza Hut also participates in the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, an industry coalition created by the National Restaurant Association and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The alliance works to reduce the amount of food waste generated, increase food donations to those in need, and encourage recycling of unavoidable food waste to divert it from landfills.

About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), serves and delivers more pizzas than any other pizza company in the world. With easy order options including the Pizza Hut app, mobile site, Facebook and Twitter messenger and Amazon devices, Pizza Hut is committed to providing an easy pizza experience – from order to delivery. Founded in 1958, Pizza Hut has become the most-recognized pizza restaurant in the world, operating more than 16,400 restaurants in more than 100 countries. 

Pizza Hut is also the proprietor of The Literacy Project, an initiative designed to enable access, empower teachers and inspire a lifelong love of reading. The program is rooted in the foundation set by the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program, which is the longest-running corporate supported literacy program, impacting more than 14 million students each year. For more information, visit Follow Pizza Hut on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.