Yum! Brands Foundation

OVERVIEW: This corporate funder prioritizes hunger relief causes in and around Louisville, Kentucky. Other topics of interest are the arts, youth, education, community, and disaster relief.

FUNDING AREAS: Hunger, arts, education, social services, diversity, disaster relief

IP TAKE: The bulk of Yum!’s local efforts are centered on the Dare to Care Food Bank. The foundation doesn’t seem to accept unsolicited inquiries, but other Louisville hunger groups may get noticed.

PROFILE: If you’ve ever eaten at a Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, or Pizza Hut, then you’re familiar with Yum! Brands. This company is based in Louisville, Kentucky, and has a foundation that awards grants to charitable organizations fighting hunger. This company has over 43,500 restaurants in over 135 countries and territories around the world. In a recent year, it was named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine.

Although Yum! is a global foundation that supports groups around the world, it also has a strong local focus on the Louisville, Kentucky, area. The biggest cause for this corporate funder is hunger: the Dare to Care Food Bank is its local hunger partner, receiving up to $1 million annually to support operations in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

In a past year, this group gave out more than 16 million meals to people in need through its various programs. Yum! also has supported hunger relief fundraising efforts and hunger walks. Since 2002, the foundation has given out well over $13 million to fight local hunger. In a past year, the funder gave out almost $7 million total to charities.

In addition to hunger relief, the Yum! Brands Foundation also supports organizations involved in the arts, education, social services, and diversity. These nonprofits are chosen among ones that are important to Yum! associates and franchise partners. The Yum! Family Series provides over 100,000 arts and culture experiences each year for youth in the Louisville community. The foundation looks for art experiences that are inclusive, draw in diverse audiences, and target underserved audiences. Citing that over 70 percent of students in the local public school system are on free and reduced lunch programs, Yum! says these arts experiences are often the first and only ones that low-income students experience.

Yum! also provides community sponsorship opportunities through the Louisville Leadership Center’s Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge. This is a program that pairs high-potential professionals with nonprofits to execute projects that will be judged in a grant competition. Yum! also partners with Young Professional’s Association of Louisville to encourage young professionals to give back to their communities, and hosts Community Connections events to bring professionals and local nonprofits together.

Another area of interest is disaster relief. Yum! works with national and global partners to rebuild communities efforts after natural disasters, such as the Chennai floods in India and various devastating events in the U.S.

This company also hosts an annual workplace-giving campaign and matching gift programs. Employee contributions are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 each year. Yum! associates also serve on local nonprofit boards in the community. Each of the foundation’s restaurants has their own individual local partnership programs as well. The KFC Foundation provides scholarships to students, the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! program rewards students for reading books, and the Taco Bell Foundation invests in youth and education.

The foundation does not provide a clear way to get in touch with the staff or apply for grants. The Yum! Brands corporate address is 1900 Colonel Sanders Lane, Louisville, Kentucky 40213, and phone numbers are 502-874-7942, 502-874-8294, and 502-874-8300. Laura Melillo Barnum is the VP of community relations and the executive director of the Yum! Brands Foundation.

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