Q&A with PJ Brice, CEO and Founder, Cheeky
September is Hunger Action MonthTM, when Feeding America® and member food banks ask everyone in America to take action to fight hunger in their community, all month long. This year, we are launching SpoontemberTM, a social media activation to engage the public and help raise awareness of the 1 in 6 Americans struggling with hunger. SpoontemberTM supporters can share a ‘spoon selfie’ – an image of themselves balancing a spoon on their nose – along with hunger-related statistics and challenge a friend to do the same.
Naturally we asked our corporate partner CheekyTM – it makes colorful plastic cutlery – to get involved. We sat down with Cheeky’s CEO and Founder PJ Brice to ask what Cheeky’s doing for Spoontember.
Feeding America: Why’s Cheeky getting involved in Spoontember?
PJ Brice: It’s a really cool initiative to bring some fun and life into all the social platforms we can play in. Cheeky is all about living a fun lifestyle and helping end hunger so this campaign was a perfect fit. Similar to The Ice Bucket Challenge, we want to garner this snowball effect on social media, and get people talking about the issue that is hunger in a fun way. We want people to learn and understand that this is a major issue.
Our three main goals at Cheeky are to increase awareness, create really cool products and give people an easy way to give back. It’s disastrous that in the U.S. 1 in 6 Americans face hunger and no one wants to talk about it because it’s not sexy. Spoontember can change that.
Feeding America: What’s Cheeky doing to help Spoontember?
PJ Brice: We made the spoons! Cheeky designs amazing colorful tabletop, including paper plates, plastic cups, and cutlery. For Hunger Action Month, we produced a box of very orange official Spoontember cutlery.
We’re sending the spoons to influential friends and food banks. Mario Batali, our Chief Culinary Ambassador, is kicking off the challenge with his own ‘spoon selfie’. We’ve also shipped out about 100,000 spoons to food banks across the country for their activations. We’re enabling a movement that’s building here, there, everywhere.
Feeding America: How are the food banks using the spoons?
PJ Brice: We’ve been blown away by the response we’ve gotten from food banks. Over 180 of the member food banks signed up to receive cutlery – it’s a fun campaign that’s really uniting the network. In Las Vegas, the local food bank Three Square has already gotten spoons out to local celebs like Lance Bass. The food banks are getting the spoons in the hands of volunteers, clients, local dignitaries – you name it!
Feeding America: Where can our supporters pick up Spoontember cutlery?
PJ Brice: You can get a box of orange cutlery at Target stores – they’re in the Halloween section – and at Target.com. For every pack of Cheeky products you buy, we’ll donate the equivalent of a meal to Feeding America. The company launched just eight months ago, and thanks to working with Target, we’ve already provided 4 million meals. It’s brilliant and just the beginning.
Feeding America: Have you taken a ‘spoon selfie’ yet?
PJ Brice: Ha! Yeah, I’ll be honest it’s not easy. The crew here in L.A. tried a group selfie. At any given time I’d say maybe half of us had the spoon on our nose? It’s a good time. I recommend you give it a try. I would love to create a long-term end to hunger and that’s what we are shooting for, but if we just educate people in the meantime, I consider that a win in itself.
Feeding America: Any tips on taking the perfect ‘spoon selfie’?
PJ Brice: Take as many as you can. For every post on Twitter and Instagram that’s tagged #Spoontember @FeedingAmerica @Cheeky_Home, Cheeky will donate an extra meal* to Feeding America. Challenge a friend and let’s make this thing really take off.
About Cheeky Home
Cheeky is a lifestyle brand redefining the boring paper plate and helping end hunger in the process. Cheeky initial products include brightly colored paper and plastic tableware available exclusively at Target stores. For each Cheeky item purchased at Target, Cheeky helps donate a meal through its partnership with Feeding America. Since Cheeky launched in November 2014, the company has already donated 4 million meals.
*Photo courtesy of Cheeky Home.