Saturday 11 July, 2020

KFC’s ‘Add Hope’ donates $7.4 million to school-feeding programme

Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Karl Samuda, signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among ROJ, NPL and the Ministry of Education to aid in providing nutritious meals for basic and primary level school children in need across the country.

Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Karl Samuda, signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among ROJ, NPL and the Ministry of Education to aid in providing nutritious meals for basic and primary level school children in need across the country.

Restaurants of Jamaica (ROJ) under its KFC Add Hope feeding initiative on Thursday handed over a $7.4 million donation to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI) through the ministry’s partner, Nutrition Products Limited (NPL),  to aid in providing nutritious meals for basic and primary school children in need across the country.

The presentation took place at the ceremonious signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ROJ, MoEYI and NPL at Mona Heights Primary School in the Corporate Area.

The development followed ROJ’s initial donation of $4.5 million through Add Hope in 2018 when the partnership between the MoEYI (through its School Feeding Unit) and NPL was first formalised.

The initial contribution towards the National School Feeding Programme resulted in over 82,000 meals being distributed to 3,500 students at the basic and primary level within close proximity to 35 KFC restaurants across the island.

It is estimated that this year’s donation of $7.4 million will benefit 82 schools over a longer period of time than the previous year.

Karl Samuda, the Minister without Portfolio within the MoEYI, told the audience at the event that, “We’re always grateful for partnerships such as these which benefit and touch the lives of a great many across our island.”

“This is a team effort, and Restaurants of Jamaica has shown tremendous potential to help subsidise our efforts. We feel your support, and the children who stand to benefit from this do as well,” added the minister.

He went on to emphasise that the provision of meals for children in need is paramount to ensure their success in school.

Representing NPL, the entity responsible for the creation, procurement and distribution of all meals within the ministry’s School Feeding Unit, was CEO, Andrew Narine.

“Today, I am proud to say that we are still continuing with our mission in providing meal solutions to designated school children across the island, at no cost to them.”

“I am pleased to know we all here today can engender good public partnership to enhance the lives of our nation’s future generation and the continued positive development of Jamaica,” Narine added.

From left, Marketing Director for Restaurants of Jamaica, Tina Matalon, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Karl Samuda, and Brand Manager for Restaurants of Jamaica, Andrei Roper, at Thursday’s school feeding programme sponsorship presentation in the Corporate Area.

Marketing Director for Restaurants of Jamaica, Tina Matalon, highlighted that the donation was a united effort.

“With the support of the Inter-Secondary Schools’ Sports Association (ISSA) and the football teams, who made this year’s schoolboy football season more than just about medals and trophies. We were able to raise $1.1 million through our ‘Goals for Meals’ campaign, through which we donated $600 for every goal scored during the first round of last season’s Manning and daCosta Cup (football) competitions, of which KFC was a major sponsor,” Matalon explained.

She added that: “We would also like to say a heartfelt thank you to our loyal customers for their in-store donations during World Food Month in October last year, which meant that we were able to generate an additional $1.8 million to ensure that even more children in need would receive nutritious meals during this academic year.”

Matalon went on to emphasise ROJ’s hope as they watch the school feeding effort grow into the coming 2021-2020 period.

“As a member of corporate Jamaica and a major player in the food service industry, we at ROJ feel it’s our duty to play our part in feeding our nation’s children. Providing the ideal number of meals to students in need will require continuous and sustained efforts, so we welcome partnership and support of anyone who wants to join us in this fight against hunger in schools across Jamaica.”

After the respective parties signed the dotted lines committing their endeavours to this year’s initiative, Gospel singer and Add Hope ambassador, Kevin Downswell, gave the evening a fitting close, performing some of his crowd favourites which left everyone in high spirits.

ROJ’s Add Hope efforts are aimed at providing meals to basic and primary level students where meals are most needed, to ensure that students can focus on their early development.

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