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Malawi’s Pizza, the nation’s only gourmet pizza franchise that pairs good food with doing good, today announced it has delivered 1 million meals to children in the impoverished nation of Malawi, a milestone it is celebrating with plans for a national expansion and the launch of a journey to deliver millions more under its founding commitment to donate one meal for every meal sold.
“Today is a very exciting day for us here at Malawi’s Pizza,” says co-founder Blake Roney. “Hitting the 1 million mark in our Meal-for-Meal Exchange Program with just a few restaurants has been truly remarkable. Not only have we been able to make a real impact on children’s lives, reaching this milestone also proves that the unique business model we developed around the core philosophy of giving back is resonating.
“With our national expansion, we are looking forward now to quickening our pace and delivering millions more meals in the years to come.”
Malawi’s Pizza—Pizza with a Purpose—was created by Roney in partnership with Chef Kent Andersen after the Utah business man returned from a humanitarian trip to Malawi. With some 6.5 million people there grappling with hunger, Roney said he realized they needed more than occasional help. They needed food, and on a regular and sustained basis.
“None of us alone can change the world,” Andersen says. “But we offer consumers an easy way to change a child’s life by making a conscious decision about where to buy their next meal. We are extremely grateful for our customers, franchisees, staff, local communities and others who have supported us in this journey to address hunger in Malawi. After all, none of this would be possible without our loyal customers and employees.”
Under the Meal-for-Meal Exchange Program, the company delivers nutrient-dense meals to children and their families in Malawi. The company buys local maize that is then blended with vitamins and nutrients and delivered to schools and villages throughout the country in partnership with Feed the Children.
“The meals provided through Malawi Pizza have directly benefited our school meals program and early childhood development program in Malawi,” says Scott Killough, PhD., senior vice president of international operations, Feed the Children. “Partnerships with businesses like this are critically important to the work we do. Hunger is a serious issue and it will take all of us working together to defeat it.”
Studies have shown that consumers are increasingly seeking out brands that support a good cause. And while many businesses today are involved in philanthropic efforts and partnerships, Malawi’s was developed specifically around the meal giveback program. Each of its franchises also partners with a local hunger-fighting charity.
Malawi’s Pizza currently has three stores in Utah, Texas and Virginia, with a fourth about to open in the Houston-area and more than 20 in the development pipeline, including four more in the Virginia area.
Working with franchise expert, Dr. Ben Litalien from Georgetown University, Malawi’s Pizza has launched a regional developer franchise model and is seeking qualified foodservice operators to develop franchises in major markets across the U.S.