ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a time where 1.4 billion people live below the poverty line, 820 million people are undernourished, and 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes every day, it's hard to imagine John Lennon's vision of a world with no hunger. To ensure that the message Lennon sent in his iconic song "IMAGINE" lives on today, artist and musician Yoko Ono Lennon again joins forces with Hard Rock International and WhyHunger for IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER. In its sixth year, IMAGINE is a global campaign to fight childhood hunger and poverty through the support of sustainable agriculture education and nutritional feeding programs.
To date, IMAGINE has helped communities in 22 countries grow enough food to provide over 7.2 million nutritious meals to children, supported programs that taught over 8,800 family and community members techniques for sustained food production and raised more than $5.6 million to help fight childhood hunger. Proceeds from Hard Rock's campaign will directly benefit WhyHunger and its efforts to build a movement to end hunger and poverty by supporting sustainable grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment.
"IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER helps to further a vision that John shared in his song 'Imagine' nearly four decades ago," said Yoko Ono Lennon. "This program works to make that vision a reality, hoping to one day eliminate the hunger and poverty that affect billions of children and families worldwide."
"It's heartbreaking to think that children are still suffering from hunger even in the 21st century and as a program Ambassador for WhyHunger, I have seen the positive impact our IMAGINE campaign can make," said Hamish Dodds, president and CEO, Hard Rock International, and Global Ambassador for WhyHunger. "Through IMAGINE, Hard Rock and WhyHunger are working together to ensure that fewer children go to bed hungry every night, by backing grassroots organizations that connect people to nutritious, affordable food for a future free of hunger."
From November through December 2013, the IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER program will include limited-edition merchandise, food drives, an employee ambassador contest and live music events at locations worldwide, featuring artist ambassadors like Lissie (New York), KOTAK (Bali) and Mayday (Tokyo). The campaign benefits organizations like NY Common Pantry and WhyHunger's grassroots partners around the world, including Roots and Shoots in China, City of Joy in India and Pathfinder Academy in Kenya. These grassroots partners focus on children living in poverty and help teach sustainable farming and entrepreneurial skills for the future.
"Our partnership with Hard Rock International, Yoko Ono Lennon and thousands of supporters has helped us invest in some of the most innovative community-based organizations around the globe to ensure that more families have access to nutritious meals and learn to grow their own food sustainably," said Bill Ayres, WhyHunger cofounder and executive director. "By partnering with these locally run and highly effective organizations, the impact of IMAGINE is multiplied across generations and throughout communities, helping to fuel the growing movement to end hunger and poverty."
Hard Rock Cafe Bali kicked off the program with the creation of the "IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER" kitchen where Hard Rock chefs prepared 100 nutritious meals 3 days per week for local families in need. On Monday, October 28, 2013 Hard Rock International CEO Hamish Dodds, Hard Rock Bali, members of the Indonesian rock band KOTAK, and nonprofit Solemen visited families and schools in need, distributing Hard Rock-prepared "IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER" lunch boxes. A charity concert by KOTAK was held at the Hard Rock Cafe Bali that night with all proceeds from concert ticket sales to help continue the "IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER" initiative at the Hard Rock Bali kitchen.
Lissie will serve as Hard Rock's IMAGINE artist ambassador in the U.S. with activation taking place in New York in November/December.
"I'm so pleased to be part of the 'IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER' campaign. Every day we ask ourselves how can I be better? Do more? Be more globally conscious? And, this is just one small way I can help," said Lissie. "All year long charities that are trying to help feed the hungry are stretched, but during the holidays it can get particularly challenging, so this is a little way we can all chip in."
Yoko Ono Lennon is scheduled to make an appearance in Tokyo in early December. The Taiwanese pop band, Mayday, artist ambassadors for Asia, will also appear at the event to support the IMAGINE program by making a memorabilia donation and directly donating the funds to WhyHunger's grassroots partners.
A Symbol of Support
Through the IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER campaign, every dollar makes an impact. Beginning on Monday, November 4, 2013, Hard Rock will offer limited-edition IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER merchandise, available exclusively at Rock Shops at Hard Rock Cafe, Hotels and Casino properties around the world and online at www.hardrock.com.
Hard Rock's 2013 IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER merchandise offerings include:
- Men's T-Shirt** - Inspired by John Lennon's song IMAGINE, this chocolate cotton jersey tee features a Hard Rock logo and a peace hand with John Lennon's signature. ($26)
- Scarf** - This vibrant four-color scarf is made of woven rayon and features John Lennon's signature with the words "Imagine There's No Hunger." ($18)
- Pin* - This 3D antique gold base metal pin features a peace hand with the words "Imagine There's No Hunger" vertically placed down the side, along with John Lennon's signature and the Hard Rock Cafe logo. ($12)
- Bracelet *- Available in violet, blue and orange, this bracelet is made of woven thread with a brushed silver guitar pick charm embossed with the words "Imagine There's No Hunger" and the Hard Rock Logo. ($2 or more donation)
*100% of net proceeds will be donated to WhyHunger
**15% of net revenue will be donated to WhyHunger
Fans worldwide are encouraged to share their IMAGINE experiences by posting messages, photos and videos via the official social media channels for the 2013 IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER campaign: Facebook.com/HardRock or Twitter.com/HardRock, and hashtag #IMAGINENOHUNGER.
For more information, visit www.hardrock.com.
WhyHunger is a leader in building the movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment. Founded in 1975 by the late Harry Chapin & current Executive Director Bill Ayres, WhyHunger works to put an end to hunger suffered by 49 million Americans and nearly 1 billion people worldwide. WhyHunger's main programs include the National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3-HUNGRY, which refers individuals in need of emergency food assistance to soup kitchens, food banks, government nutrition programs & community organizations in their neighborhoods; the Grassroots Action Network, which provides information, networking opportunities, capacity building & access to over 8,000 anti-hunger & poverty community organizations across the United States and around the world; and Artists Against Hunger & Poverty which is supported by Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Joss Stone, Darryl McDaniels, Jackson Browne, O.A.R., and many others. For more information visit www.whyhunger.org.
About Hard Rock International
With a total of 170 venues in 54 countries, including 133 cafes, 18 hotels and 7 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company's two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, Fl., both owned and operated by HRI parent company The Seminole Tribe of Florida., as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Biloxi, Chicago, Cancun, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, San Diego and Singapore. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include Johannesburg, Chennai, Istanbul and Tenerife. New Hard Rock Hotel projects include Daytona Beach, Aruba, Riviera Maya, Abu Dhabi and Shenzhen and Haikou in China. New Hard Rock Casino projects in development include Hungary and Northfield, OH. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com.
SOURCE Hard Rock International