Sunday 5 April, 2020

Burger King donates meals to PATH students as COVID-19 closes schools

Fast-food restaurant Burger King is donating meals to student beneficiaries of the Programme For Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), who are currently at home as a result of the threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Burger King will supply 24,000 sandwiches, through PATH, a nation-wide programme that provides health and education grants to poor families. Under the education grant, students benefit from a free meal at school.

With schools closed by order of the Government of Jamaica, in a bid to reduce the possible community transmission of COVID-19, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has been providing baked products, fruit juices and water to the PATH students for the period they are away from school. Burger King’s contributions will boost this.

For six days, starting Friday, March 20, 2020, and for the period March 23 to 27, Burger King will deliver 4,000 sandwiches each day to PATH for distribution to student beneficiaries in Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine and St James, Burger King outlined in a statement on Friday.

The donation will be done from ten Burger King restaurants and will also include 12,800 scholastic toys to the students.

“When we heard about this circumstance, we immediately became concerned for the children who look forward to the meal they receive at school each day. We understand that for some, it may be the only one they are guaranteed every day and felt that we had to help by providing good, healthy food for them,” said Lisa Lake, CEO of the Lake Group of Companies.

The Lake Group includes Burger King, Popeyes and Little Caesar’s.

Minister with Responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Karl Samuda said, “We welcome this show of kindness from Burger King. As a government, we know that it can be challenging for our most vulnerable to provide proper nutrition to students at this time. We are thankful for this partnership, which will benefit thousands of our students.”

Sabrena McDonald Radcliffe, Head of Sales and Marketing of Restaurants Associates Ltd, franchisees for Burger King, Popeyes and Little Caesar’s, said: “We feel that parents and guardians already have enough to worry about including  COVID-19 and do not need the additional stress of wondering where to find a meal for their children. So we are partnering with the Ministry of Education to fill the gaps caused by the unexpected closure of schools.”

Burger King’s commitment to assisting youth in need is a focus of the brand as it recently provided $50,000 in meals to commuting students at the University of the West Indies, who are facing financial challenges and in need of meal support.

Since opening its first store in Jamaica 1984, Burger King said it has supported a number of initiatives aimed at bolstering human capacity, particularly of Jamaica’s youth. These include an annual School’s Debating Competition, the annual Burger King 10K and relays and a robust scholarship programme that provides millions of dollars for secondary and tertiary institution students.

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