KFC 'Add Hope' initiative donates over $4 million for school feeding
Left to right: Floyd Green, education state minister; Education Minister Ruel Reid; Tina Matalon, Marketing Director for Restaurants of Jamaica and Andrei Roper, Brand Manager at Restaurants of Jamaica.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI) has partnered with Restaurants of Jamaica (ROJ) to feed more students in need this year.
With a donation valued at $4.5 million contributed through the KFC ‘Add Hope’ initiative, a total of 1,500 students will be provided with meals for the academic year ending June 2018.
The partnership will be facilitated through Nutritional Products Limited, the statutory body responsible for production and distribution of meals to schools under Jamaica’s national nutrition programme.
Add Hope is an international initiative by the quick-service restaurant chain which collects donations in-store to fund meals for undernourished children. Internationally the programme is done in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), a UN organization. ROJ which is the franchisee for both KFC and Pizza Hut in Jamaica has worked with the local government to make the School Feeding Program a part of the international initiative.
“A good meal can mean the difference between a top performing and low performing student,” said Tina Matalon, Marketing Director for Restaurants of Jamaica. “When Minister Green called on ROJ to assist with the programme, as a member of corporate Jamaica and the food service industry, we could not say no; we had to step up in a big way and secure access to food for our students.”
Jamaica’s school feeding programme has expanded over the past four years to serve over 130,000 students. The programme is aimed at students who would otherwise be unable to afford a filling meal, with a goal of enabling students to be fueled and ready to perform better throughout the school day.
“We welcome Restaurants of Jamaica’s response to our request to assist with the School Feeding Programme. This generous donation of $4.5 million will go a far way in helping more children who are fed through the programme,” said Floyd Green, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
The programme brings together consolidated funding from the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and the MoEYI’s regular budget. However there is a need for continued donations from private entities to ensure that all students in need have an opportunity to benefit from the programme. Partnerships, such as the one which has been forged with ROJ, allow a significant number of additional students to be serviced.
ROJ is currently in discussion with the MoEYI to launch a second phase of the programme in September 2018. The second phase will enable KFC customers to donate part proceeds from select menu items toward the school feeding programme. Corporate partners and members of the ROJ team will have the opportunity to donate through Add Hope throughout October as a part of World Food Month.