LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, September 27, 2013– The Muhammad Ali Center (MAC) announced today the 2013 winners of the Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden grants, made possible by the Yum! Brands Foundation. There are now 160 MAC Peace Gardens in 13 countries dedicated to teaching children respect for different cultures, addressing the issue of hunger by donating produce to local hunger relief organizations and providing nutrition education.
The initiative began in 2010 and is made possible by the Yum! Brands Foundation whose commitment includes $100,000 in grants to build a total of 200 multicultural gardens over a four-year period in Title 1 schools, plus educational materials and a classroom curriculum translated into six languages. The gardens reflect the Company’s commitment to address world hunger.
A key partner, The National Gardening Association provides assistance and expertise with the grant process, garden kits and curriculum. The educational curriculum embodies six core principles of the Muhammad Ali Center: confidence, conviction, dedication, respect, giving, and spirituality.
The Muhammad Ali Center, co-founded by global humanitarian and sports icon, Muhammad Ali and his wife, Lonnie, has a mission that promotes respect, hope, and understanding and incorporates programmatic areas that embody Mr. Ali’s core principles.
“The Peace Garden program is inspiring the next generation to build a world of respect one garden at a time,” said Jeanie Kahnke, spokesperson for the Muhammad Ali Center. “It is rewarding to see young people helping their communities and discovering new cultures—while at the same time, learning new skills that help encourage local ecosystems.”
“The Muhammad Ali Center Peace Gardens plant seeds of respect, teach important life lessons and harvest food for the hungry which is a key goal of our world hunger relief efforts,” said Amy Sherwood, Yum! Brands Foundation. “We’re proud to make such a meaningful initiative possible by providing garden grants and are delighted to know there are 160 Muhammad Ali Center Peace Gardens growing around the world,” said Sherwood.
“The Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden Grant empowers the next generation with the resources and knowledge needed to grow their own food and help feed the hungry,” said Mike Metallo, president and CEO, National Gardening Association. “By focusing on young people, together with the Ali Center and Yum! Brands Foundation, we are transforming lives and strengthening communities. This program is one component of our Garden in Every School Initiative™.”
The Muhammad Ali Center Peace Gardens were modeled after a highly successful grassroots pilot by the John F. Kennedy Montessori Elementary School based in Louisville, Kentucky. The teacher-led project helped nearly 600 pre-school to Grade 5 students from around the world plant multicultural gardens to learn about respect for other cultures. Children participate in all aspects of the garden including planting, nurturing, harvesting, cooking and ultimately donating food to the hungry, such as the Dare to Care Food Bank in Louisville, Ky.
Winning programs will receive $500 in supplies from Yum! Brands Foundation grants to establish a garden including a raised bed, composter, and NGA curriculum guide as well as necessary tools and funds to establish or enhance a gardening program. Applications are available September 19th, 2013 through the Muhammad Ali Center website, MyPeaceGarden.com, and KidsGardening.org. Applications are due January 17th, 2014 and winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 6th, 2014.
For more information or to learn how more about establishing a peace garden visit www.MyPeaceGarden.com for a free activity guide, available in six different languages.
About the Muhammad Ali Center
The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was co-founded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The international cultural center promotes the six core principles of Muhammad Ali (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global greatness and provides programming and events around the focus areas of education, gender equity, and global citizenship. Its newest initiative, Generation Ali, fosters a new generation of leaders to contribute positively to their communities and to change the world for the better. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, please visit www.alicenter.org.
About Yum! Brands, Inc.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, and the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell has over 39,000 restaurants in more than 130 countries and territories with nearly 1.5 million associates. The Muhammad Ali Center Peace Gardens initiative is underwritten by Yum! Brands Foundation as an extension of the Company’s World Hunger Relief campaign, the world’s largest private sector hunger relief effort in partnership with United Nations World Food Program. Since World Hunger Relief launched in 2007, nearly 1.5 million of the Company’s employees, franchisees and their families have volunteered millions of hours to aid hunger relief efforts in communities worldwide. The effort has raised nearly $150 million for WFP and other hunger relief organizations and is helping to provide approximately 600 million meals and save the lives of millions of people in remote corners of the world.
About the NGA
Founded in 1973, National Gardening Association (NGA) is a national nonprofit leader in plant-based education, respected for its award-winning, information-rich websites and newsletters; grants, curricula, and resources for youth gardens; and research for the lawn and garden industry. Our mission is to empower every generation to lead healthier lives, build stronger communities and encourage environmental stewardship through educational gardening programs. To learn more, please visit kidgardening.org, garden.org, and gardeningwithkids.org.