Scooter Braun has teamed with ConAgra and Feeding America for a multi-faceted campaign in support of Child Hunger Ends Here, an effort to raise awareness and money for the nearly 17 million children facing hunger in the United States.
Anchoring the campaign is an original song, “Fill A Heart,” penned by singer/songwriter Tori Kelly. The track debuted during Kelly’s Feb. 18 online concert for StageIt and will debut for charitable download on iTunes in mid-March. Additional versions of the song were recorded by Braun clients Amber Riley (“Glee”) and Cody Simpson and will be available for download at ChildHungerEndsHere.com starting March 1. Carly Rae Jepsen, a Braun client through his Schoolboy Records, will also participate in a broader campaign that will include online concerts, retail promotions, TV advertising and social media.
“People in entertainment want to give back, you just have to give them the opportunity to do so,” Braun tells Billboard. “I’m able to give my artists a really tangible way to get involved and give back and there was no fight, struggle or pitch. Everyone wants to get involved. We are a country with the means to provide for all our citizens — 17 million kids is an unacceptable number. We have a lot more work to do, but I love the idea that as many as 3 million meals are going to come out of this.”
Now in its fourth year, the Child Hunger Ends Here campaign has increasingly turned to musicians to help get the word out in recent years. Last spring, the campaign partnered with country star Hunter Hayes for an original song called “Here’s Hope” that was covered by Jewel, Owl City and Jay Sean for country, pop and R&B formats, respectively. Also in spring 2012, Feeding America teamed up with Big Machine artists like Martina McBride, The Band Perry, Reba McEntire and Rascal Flatts for a multi-brand partnership with General Mills that raised over $2 million for a separate campaign called Outnumber Hunger.
“We know that when musicians speak about issues, people listen,” says Maura Daly, chief communication and development officer for Feeding America. “And the great reality about the artists involved in this particular campaign is they’re coming from a place where they really personally care about the issue as well. We know that as we look to raise awareness about child hunger in America, one of the most effective ways in doing that is by allowing our music spokespeople to carry the message to their own following.”
ConAgra will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America for every 8-digit code found on specially marked ConAgra Foods products (19 brands, including Banquet, Healthy Choice, Kid Cuisine, Manwich and Marie Callender’s) as part of its $10 million, five-year commitment to Feeding America.
A TV campaign, debuting March 18, will help raise further awareness — and not necessarily with Braun’s artists as its faces. “We’re using celebrities to engage emotion and authenticity as the voice of the campaign, but the TV campaign is going to be a little more about community involvement,” says Brett Groom, senior VP-content integration and activation at ConAgra Foods. “We want to start a bit of a movement. And at the end of the day, it’s important that consumers understand what steps they have to take.”