In the charitable program’s second year, Papa John’s announced the company sold more than 3 million Shaq-a-Roni pizzas in 2021, raising more than $3 million for The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community.
“There is nothing more important than providing a helping hand to communities in need,” says Shaquille O’Neal, Papa John’s Board Member and franchise owner. “Our nonprofit partner organizations are addressing important causes near and dear to my heart, and I am proud of the impact we can have through the funds raised from this year’s Shaq-a-Roni sales.”
From August 16 to October 24, one dollar from every Shaq-a-Roni pizza sold was donated to The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community. This year, Papa John’s raised broader awareness of its charitable partners, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Baltimore Hunger Project and UNCF (United Negro College Fund), by integrating them into the national ad campaign. The company also gave consumers ways to get involved further through social media, by triggering an additional donation for every photo of the pizza posted with the hashtag “Shaq-a-Roni.” Additionally, consumers were also able to give back through the company’s loyalty program, Papa Rewards, by turning their rewards into a donation.
“We are grateful to have a partner like Shaq who shares our company values and believes in giving back to our communities as much as we do,” says Rob Lynch, president and CEO of Papa John’s. “We’re so proud that for two years in a row we’ve been able to raise, through the generosity of our customers, millions of dollars for causes our team members and franchisees are passionate about. The success of the Shaq-a-Roni program means that the more than 100 nonprofit partners we have across the country, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, United Negro College Fund and Baltimore Hunger Project, to name a few, will continue the work they do to build a more equitable future for all.”
Developed by Shaquille himself, the Shaq-a-Roni has proved to be a fan favorite – an extra-large pie made with Papa John’s fresh, never frozen, six-ingredient dough, topped with extra cheese and extra pepperoni and then cut into Papa John’s largest slice to date.
A portion of the funds raised from Shaq-a-Roni sales will support The Papa John’s Foundation Building Community Fund, a grant program for franchisees to award funds to local community organizations. Examples of the Foundation’s national and grassroots partners are:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a partner of The Papa John’s Foundation since 2019, will continue receiving support to provide leadership development programs for youth in local communities, including the National Youth of the Year celebration, which recognizes deserving teens for outstanding leadership, community engagement and academic performance.
- United Negro College Fund to support initiatives designed to move historically Black college and university students to and through college. Specifically, the donation will fund scholarships, as well as provide emergency aid for students who need “just-in-time” assistance and may be at risk of dropping out due to an unexpected financial hardship.
- Baltimore Hunger Project, which is working to eliminate the problem of weekend childhood hunger for Baltimore-area students and families. BHP bridges the hunger gap by consistently providing weekend food packages to students identified as food insecure, in a compassionate and dignified manner, so kids can arrive at school on Monday ready to learn.