Yum! and Smile fight against hunger and malnutrition

Some alarming facts: • 1.4 billion people (20% of the world’s population) lives in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.25 a day • India accounts for 22% of a total of 9.7 million children dying globally before they reach the age of 5 • More than 70% of Indian women and children have serious nutritional deficiencies • Somewhere in the world, a child dies due to malnutrition every five seconds • India is ranked at 112 among the 141 nations as regards Child Development Index (CDI)

New Delhi: Yum! Restaurants India, world’s largest restaurant company, with support from Smile Foundation and Sharman Joshi, today celebrated World Hunger Relief (WHR) – world’s largest private sector hunger relief effort. Over the last many years, hunger and malnutrition have emerged as the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. After kick-starting the ‘Hunger To Hope Kitchen’ event at KFC’s store, Sharman along with the Yum! leadership, visited Smile Foundation’s center in Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi. At the center, they not only interacted with the women and children present there; but also witnessed a dance performance put together by the children.

WHR takes forward Yum!’s mission of ‘Growth with a big heart’. Launched globally in 2007, it has now become the world’s largest private sector hunger relief effort. This annual initiative leverages the power of Yum!’s global restaurant system and engages with over one million employees world over to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other hunger relief agencies. Since the launch of this programme, Yum! has raised nearly $150 million, helping to provide nearly 600 million meals. In India (over the last 7 years), WFP has developed several programmes that provided supplementary nutrition to underprivileged children through ‘Integrated Child Development Services’ (ICDS) and mid-day meal programmes in regions like Rajasthan and Orissa.

On the occasion of Hunger To Hope Kitchen’s inauguration Niren Chaudhary – President, Yum! Restaurants India, said, “‘Growth with a big heart is at the center of everything we do in India, as well as globally. World Hunger Relief and other such initiatives in the country, reinstate our intent of giving back to the community in which we work and live, making a positive difference in the lives of the underprivileged. This unique programme brings together the entire Yum! family of over 22,000 employees across 500+ stores in the country.Over the years, with support from all our customers, associates, franchisees and their families, Yum! has been able to raise over Rs 5 crores which was contributed towards feeding over 7 lakh less fortunate women and children.”

Association with Smile Foundation, a national level development organization directly benefitting more than 300,000 underprivileged children and their families annually will result in expanding WHR’s reach. Yum!’s contribution over the next one year will cater to the nutritional needs of at least 2,000 underprivileged children through Smile Foundation’s ‘Mission Education’ programme. Additionally, they will also create awareness activities to sensitize underprivileged communities towards the issue of malnutrition amongst children covering upto 15,000 beneficiaries of various slum communities/villages. Other activities will include advocacy activities at a national level to sensitize the privileged masses.

Talking specifically about the 2013 programme with Smile Foundation, Niren further added, “This year, we are glad to partner with Smile Foundation. We believe they are the right partners for us as they have been actively working in this area for over a decade now. Our joint mission is towards addressing the cause of hunger and malnutrition in India; and we look forward to working closely with them.”

Commenting on the partnership, Vikram Singh Verma – COO, Smile Foundation, said, “We are proud to associate with Yum! Restaurants India in their movement to address hunger and malnutrition, not only in India, but the world over. Their contribution towards the cause is phenomenal. Partnering with them, further reiterates our mission of working as a catalyst towards bringing change in the lives of thousands of underprivileged children and women and enabling the civil society to engage proactively in the change process.”

“As responsible members of society, it is upon us to take initiatives to eradicate hunger in India. Programmes like the ‘World Hunger Relief’ launched by Yum! Restaurants India encourages us and other corporates to serve the community in which we operate. I am honoured to partner with Yum! and Smile Foundation in their movement to target one of the biggest risks to health worldwide. I have pledged my support to this initiative and urge all consumers to join in the noble cause”, commented Sharman Joshi.

In addition to partnerships with WFP and Smile Foundation, Yum! also engages with its employees to raise funds. They celebrate a ‘Give It All You Got’ week in the month of September that includes activities like selling exotic dishes, homemade chocolates, cakes etc; to running a marathon amongst many others. Funds collected from these activities form an additional part of the contribution made by Yum!

For further information on World Hunger Relief, please visit : http://www.hungertohope.com

About Yum! Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, is the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with over 39,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries and territories. Yum! was ranked #213 on the Fortune 500 List for 2011 and had revenues of over $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 over five new restaurants each day of the year, making it a leader in international retail development.