On a sunny day in Memphis last month, International Paper (IP) hosted its annual “Lunch on the Lawn” event to raise support for its Coins 4 Kids™ program, which provides nourishing school meals to children in Nairobi’s poorest classrooms through the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP).  

Now in its 11th year, the annual event includes a variety of creative fundraising activities such as sweepstake baskets, an online auction and a bake sale. The organization’s culture of giving spreads far beyond IP’s employees; hundreds of family members and friends participated in the event as well.

This year’s winner of the sweepstakes basket jumps for joy. (Photo courtesy of IP) 

This year’s online auction featured more than 750 items generously donated by the local community and employees both within the U.S. and from IP ‘s global locations. It also included options to make a donation to feed a child for an entire month or an entire year. The bake sale was the largest yet. So far, the campaign is projected to raise more than $350,000.  The Coins 4 Kids™ campaign will continue in June as IP hosts its first golf tournament to benefit the cause. 

Since 2004, when International Paper (IP) developed the Coins 4 Kids™ program, their generosity has provided millions of school meals to children in Nairobi, making IP one of the largest private donor and long-term supporters of school meals in Kenya.   

A team of volunteers sold homemade desserts to help the U.N. World Food Programme feed more children in need in Nairobi. (Photo courtesy of IP)

International Paper’s support has helped children like Yvonne stay in school and take care of siblings after both of her parents passed away.

“The Coins 4 Kids™ program has delivered millions of children from hunger to hope in Nairobi’s poorest classrooms,” says Rick Leach, President & CEO of World Food Program USA. “We are proud of our 10-year partnership with International Paper and look forward to the next 10 years.” 

IP employees, volunteers and supporters examine this year’s goodies. (Photo courtesy of IP)

As a voluntarily funded organization, WFP cannot implement or continue such programs without private-sector support. Partners like IP often act as a catalyst, incentivizing governments to contribute more. Together, these relationships and the support of IP is helping WFP in the field deliver vital nutrition and assistance to the most vulnerable families in and around the Nairobi area.

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