LOUISVILLE, KY, May 20, 2013 – Lift a Life Foundation announces 11 national winners of the “Lead2Feed World Hunger Leadership Challenge” in partnership with USA TODAY Charitable Foundation. St. Francis Episcopal Day School in Houston, Texas, wins top prize and receives $25,000 from the Yum! Brands Foundation for their local hunger relief charity.
More than 300,000 middle and high school students in 1,500 schools participated in the nationwide challenge that encouraged students to hone their leadership skills through projects that focus on solving hunger. Yum! Brands Foundation will provide nearly $250,000 in prize money grants to 140 schools for U.S. public charities engaged in hunger relief programs.
The “Lead2Feed World Hunger Leadership Challenge” is a teacher-led educational program that combines a standards-based curriculum on the topic of leadership along with the challenge of solving world hunger through service learning projects conducted by student teams.
Students use principles from Yum! Brands’ Chairman and CEO David Novak’s best-selling book, TAKING PEOPLE WITH YOU: The Only Way to Make BIG Things Happen, and the Lead2Feed curriculum provided by USA TODAY Education. In the book, Novak shares the secrets of the unique “Taking People With You” leadership program he has developed and taught during his 15 years at Yum! Brands. All of his proceeds from the book go to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in conjunction with Yum! Brands’ global hunger relief efforts.
St. Francis Day School in Houston, Texas, partnered with a school in Meerut, India, to identify creative solutions to fight hunger in their local communities and they shared best practices regularly via Skype. St. Francis students packed 5,100 sack lunches, collected more than 6,500 cans of food and packed boxes at a local food bank while their partner school in India volunteered time at a local orphanage. Students at both schools planted gardens to deliver fresh produce monthly to local charities. St. Francis Episcopal Day School is directing the $25,000 grand prize grant to Kids’ Meals, Inc. in Houston, the state’s only meals-on-wheels service for children who live in poverty.
“I am inspired by the leadership and creativity that students from around the country used in their projects to fight hunger,” said David Novak, Chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands, Inc. “Lead2Feed challenges students to think and act like leaders, work with others and set big goals to solve a real problem in our community and world. It is exciting to watch the program develop the next generation of leaders who are passionate about solving hunger.”
“We were excited to see so many teachers from different disciplines such as agriculture, health, marketing, science and social studies participate in the program,” said Diane Barrett, President, USA TODAY Charitable Foundation. “The free leadership program can fulfill class service project requirements that many school districts require for high school graduation or as part of the middle school curriculum,” said Barrett.
In addition to the national winner, highlights from the Top 10 Lead2Feed school projects include:
- St. Andrews Episcopal Academy – Fort Pierce, Florida: A team of middle school students built a race car out of 3,500 cans of food that was displayed at a car dealership to raise awareness for the hunger issue.
- Joseph L. Carwise Middle School – Palm Harbor, Florida: Seventh and eighth graders collected nearly 1,000 cans of food for a local food pantry in order to feed 1,800 local families in need.
- Rio High School – Rio, Wisconsin: The elementary, middle and high school students collected nearly 700 non-perishable food items and hundreds of dollars for a local food pantry through a pie auction and other creative contests.
- Hale County Technology Center – Greensboro, Alabama: High school students hosted a community food drive that raised 800 cans of food and 400 cases of water for local senior citizens and at-risk youth.
- Rapid City Central High School – Rapid City, South Dakota: Students raised thousands of dollars to provide bus passes, shoes, coats, laundry vouchers, school supplies and other items for fellow classmates in need.
- Port Chester Middle School – Port Chester, New York: The middle school team expanded their school garden to grow organic vegetables to donate to a local food pantry. They anticipate more than 1,000 pounds of food, 90 percent of which will be donated to local food pantries.
- Mercy Academy – Louisville, Kentucky: A team of nine high school students implemented everything from a Rice Bowl Campaign which raised nearly $1,200 for a local hunger relief charity, to making and selling bracelets for a local community center. They also launched a fundraiser which raised more than $700 to purchase animals for women in developing countries.
- New World Bilingual Institute – Fairfax Station, Virginia: Students did everything from dressing in traditional Chinese attire to greet 30,000 attendees at a local parade to selling homemade Asian food at a festival in D.C. They raised more than $700 to help provide more than 1,250 meals to a rural village in China.
- Saint Francis Cathedral School – New Brunswick, New Jersey: A team of seventh graders packed and delivered 150 lunches to hungry people in their community. They also created and sold a cookbook filled with nutritious, kid-friendly recipes.
- P.A.T.C.H. (Parents as Teachers in Christian Homes) – Paducah, Kentucky: A student team raised more than $900 to purchase bowls for a fundraiser in their community. The students painted, glazed, fired and washed bowls for the event which raised $12,500 to provide nearly 600 meals for a local community kitchen.
Teachers are invited to register now for next year’s challenge at www.lead2feed.com. The program can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr through the links below:
For a complete list of winners, visit www.lead2feed.com
About World Hunger Relief
Yum! Brands annual fall World Hunger Relief effort is the world’s largest private sector initiative designed to fight hunger. The effort spans more than 130 countries and territories, 39,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants and over one million employees, to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds for WFP and others. Since World Hunger Relief launched in 2007, the effort has raised nearly $150 million and is helping to provide approximately 600 million meals and save the lives of millions of people in remote corners of the world. Yum! also addresses hunger through its Harvest program which has donated nearly 160 million pounds of food, with a value of over $700 million, to those at risk of hunger in the U.S.
About Lift a Life Foundation
The Lift a Life Foundation was established in 1999 by David and Wendy Novak to help individuals and families in need reach their full potential. The Foundation helps alleviate the financial, physical, emotional, and educational burdens that hold people back from achieving their dreams and making a positive difference in society. The Foundation focuses on creative partnerships that make a lasting impact in the primary areas of hunger relief, education, juvenile diabetes, the military as well as family and youth issues. Since Lift a Life Foundation began, it has helped thousands of people in need through grants and programming support. David Novak is Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company with more than 39,000 KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut restaurants in over 130 countries and territories, and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling book, TAKING PEOPLE WITH YOU: The Only Way to Make BIG Things Happen. Hehas been recognized as “2012 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive magazine, one of the world’s “30 Best CEOs” by Barron’s for the past three years, one of the “Top People in Business” by FORTUNE and one of the “100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review. He is also the recipient of the national 2008 Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship and is on the board of directors of the Yum! Brands Foundation and World Food Program USA. Wendy Novak is a lifelong philanthropist and volunteer, serving on the board of Directors for the Kentucky Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
About Yum! Brands Foundation and Yum! Brands
The Yum! Brands Foundation, the charitable arm of Yum! Brands, Inc., supports charities working primarily in the areas of hunger relief. Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, is the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with more than 39,000 restaurants in over 130 countries and territories. Yum! is ranked #201 on the Fortune 500 List and generated revenues of more than $13 billion in 2012. The Company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened more than five new restaurants each day of the year, making it a leader in international retail development. The Company has consistently been recognized for its consistent shareholder returns, diversity leadership, community giving and recognition culture.
About USA TODAY Charitable Foundation
The USA TODAY Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, supports and builds alliances that enhance innovative, instructional programs and community outreach by providing the resources to promote opportunities and inspire all.It welcomes participation in efforts to engage, enlighten and inspire today’s students and educators by opening their classrooms to the real world. The Foundation seeks funding from other foundations, private companies and organizations to help provide educational programs for elementary, secondary schools, community colleges and/or programs in specific disciplines or curriculum areas. The Foundation works with interested parties to collaborate on the creation of an educational program that meets the mission and goals for respective companies or organizations.