8,000 hours. 180 projects. 20 countries. Six teams. Incredible impact. These were the results of this year’s Volunteer for Hope campaign, a spectacular effort by KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut employees to volunteer in local communities worldwide. This month marked the recognition of the Huge Heart Champion Award winners for 2014, given to teams and individuals who had the greatest lasting impact in improving the lives of others through partnering with charitable agencies. We’re proud to say that the Platinum Winner was a group from Pizza Hut!
Volunteer for Hope, funded by the Yum! Foundation, encourages individual team members to volunteer for a cause about which they feel most passionate. By tracking their hours, volunteers can exponentially increase their impact with rewards from Yum!, which contributes to partnering charity organizations around the world. The Huge Heart Award recognizes the best examples of volunteerism around the world with up to $275,000 in grants to winning projects.
The Cambiando Hambre Por Esperanza project was led by the KFC/Pizza Hut Comidas Especializades Franchise in Honduras, working with partners Vision Mundial to combat hunger and malnutrition in the community of Consonlaca. Consonlaca, a rural area located about 421km northeast of the capital of Honduras, is a seven hour drive for this group of volunteers, who have been visiting the community since 2012. The team’s first visit to the area affected them deeply. Consonlaca has a population of 600, roughly 130 families with 276 children over the age of six, 74 children under the age of 5. When the Comidas Especializades team first visited the region, malnutrition was one of the causes of child morality for this population.
Since 2012, the franchise has partnered with local food donors to combat malnutrition in this community, with two donations totaling $70,000 in 2014 and more than $200,000 raised for the World Food Program in 2014 alone. Families in Consonlaca travel or walk five hours to meet the food delivery trucks each trip, which bring beans, flour, sugar, soybeans, clothes, medicines, and vitamins in each shipment. Over five hundred Pizza Hut and KFC volunteers have contributed 2,600 hours of their time, and the results are tremendous. Consonlaca has seen a reduction in child malnutrition from 20 children in 2013 to two in 2014.
As platinum winner, the Cambiando Hambre Por Esperanza project wins a $25,000 grant for Vision Mundial to continue their important work.