When legendary writer and activist Gloria Steinem learned that their beloved television programs reach at least 25% of women across the US every night, she asked the corporate leadership team, "What are you asking them to do?" which immediately put the wheels in motion toward combatting childhood hunger as an issue that their audience cares a lot about. In looking for the most effective way to turn empathy into action, they partnered with Pledge to activate audiences across the U.S. through text-to-donate, custom donation forms, and international translations to expand their reach. Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, childhood hunger became an even more urgent crisis as millions of children across the US who depended on school meals for nutrition as their only meal of the day suddenly didn't have access to them. When the campaign started in 2019, one in seven kids were living with hunger in the US, but by March 2020 it was tragically one in four kids.
In an effort to address the urgent and growing crisis of childhood hunger at the start of the pandemic, they expanded the 'Turn Up!' messaging to all of its U.S. networks while working with No Kid Hungry to pivot from schools to food banks and other outlets in an effort to feed more families. They also worked with Pledge to feature the text-to-donate campaign (text HUNGRY to 707070) and custom donation form (turnup.org) across diverse programming with notable talent, such as HGTV's A Very Brady Renovation, Rock the Block, Brother vs. Brother, Chopped: Grudge Match, and The Jennifer Hudson Show. As a result, they reached their goal of 1 billion meals years ahead of schedule and were able to set their sights on a new milestone now as Warner Bros. Discovery: to provide 2 billion meals to hungry children and families.
This day in age, awareness isn’t enough. At Warner Bros Discovery, we leverage our platforms and brands to empower our viewers to join us in making a measurable impact. Our partners at Pledge make donations to our key nonprofits frictionless and easy for our viewers. By using Pledge, we’ve seen record conversion rates that have helped us to raise donations to connect kids to more than 1.4 billion meals and move the needle on ending childhood hunger in the U.S.