World Food Program USA And Lift A Life Announce Grant For Uganda School Meals

Published March 5, 2015
Last Updated May 22, 2019

The $3 Million Grant Will Feed More Than 32,000 Students In 161 Schools

Washington, D.C.—In celebration of International School Meals Day, World Food Program USA and the Lift a Life Foundation announced a groundbreaking $3 million grant over three years to support school meals in the Karamoja region of Uganda.

This grant—the largest international grant in the foundation’s history—will provide nourishing meals to more than 32,000 children in 161 schools through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the largest provider of school meals on the planet.

“School meals can unlock the incredible potential of millions of boys and girls who would otherwise go hungry,” said Ashley Novak Butler, the Director of Lift A Life.


“No child should go hungry and every child deserves the right to learn.”

For just 25 cents, WFP can deliver a nutritious meal for a child in need. By easing the burden of putting food on the table, school meals encourage parents to keep their children in the classroom. Studies have shown that school meals boost enrollment, attendance and graduation rates, especially among girls. In fact, WFP estimates that every dollar invested in school meals yields $3 to $8 in economic returns.

School meals also have the power to transform the lives of small-scale farmers. By using locally grown crops whenever possible to source its school meals, WFP offers a reliable market for small-scale farmers in Uganda. This approach, known as Home-Grown School Feeding, offers a sustainable solution that empowers and engages entire communities in the fight against childhood hunger.

Last year, WFP delivered vital nutrition to almost 20 million students in low-income countries like Uganda, which loses an estimated $899 million each year in lost productivity as a result of chronic malnutrition. Children are particularly vulnerable to hunger, especially those living in Uganda’s northeast region, where drought is common.

“With school meals, we have the power to break the cycle of poverty and hunger,” said Rick Leach, President and CEO of World Food Program USA.


“By promoting education and good nutrition, we are building a world where all children—no matter where they’re from—can achieve their dreams.”

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About Lift a Life Foundation

The Lift a Life Foundation was established in 1999 by David and Wendy Novak. The mission of the Lift a Life Foundation is to lead the way with innovative programs that help people in need and develop future leaders.  The Foundation focuses on creative partnerships that make a lasting impact in the primary areas of hunger relief, early childhood education, juvenile diabetes, military family support and leadership development.  Since Lift a Life Foundation began, it has helped thousands of people in need through grants and programming support.

David Novak is Chairman of Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company with nearly 38,000KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut restaurants in over 120 countries and territories, and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling book, Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make BIG Things Happen. He has been recognized as “2012 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive magazine, one of the world’s “30 Best CEOs” by Barron’s for the past two years, one of the “Top People in Business” by FORTUNE and one of the “100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review. He is also the recipient of the national 2008 Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship and is on the board of directors of the Yum! Brands Foundation and World Food Program USA. Wendy Novak is a lifelong philanthropist and volunteer. She serves on the advisory board for the Wendy L. Novak Diabetes Care Center.

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About World Food Program USA

Based in Washington, D.C., World Food Program USA works to solve global hunger by raising U.S. support to advance the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in about 75 countries.

For more information, contact:

Lydia Wamala, WFP Communications Officer in Uganda,, +256.312.242.408

M.J. Altman, WFP USA Communications in D.C.,, (202) 627-3932