Burger King’s Fight Against PovertyBurger King is a world-renowned fast food restaurant known for the Whopper and the 2-for-$6 deal. In poverty relief circles, however, Burger King is known for its successful non-profit — the Burger King Foundation.

The Burger King Foundation’s Mission — Education

The Burger King Foundation’s first mission is expanding access to education to traditionally uneducated groups who cannot afford it. The Burger King Scholars program, funded by Burger King franchises, awards scholarships to students across North America in order to increase education among low socioeconomic groups and level the playing field of access to higher education. Since 2000, more than $55 million worth of scholarships have been awarded to nearly 50,000 students.

In an interview with Impacting Our Future, Amanda Israel, the executive director of the Burger King Foundation, explained that student loan debt is one of the biggest barriers to higher education. Therefore, grants and scholarships like those of the Burger King Scholars program are immensely helpful in equalizing educational opportunities and offering underprivileged students the chance to build a successful future. Because of Burger King Scholars grants, nearly 50,000 students have earned the chance to attend a post-secondary institution and break the cycle of educational underprivilege. In the interview, Israel emphasizes the importance of higher education in reducing poverty by claiming that higher education has the power to reduce inequality and bolster a nation’s economic growth.

In addition to scholarships given to students in North America, the Burger King Foundation supports literacy projects around the world. Over 200 projects, including building libraries and schools in rural communities, have been completed by the foundation. In Asia and Africa alone, the Burger King Foundation has supported the growth of Room to Read programs that teach more than 1,000 students to read. According to the U.N., literacy is crucial to ensure the stability and growth of a poor nation, so increasing literacy rates among children is an excellent tool in the fight against poverty.

The Burger King Foundation’s Mission — Emergency Relief

The second mission of the Burger King Foundation is to support Burger King employees through immediate emergencies. The foundation does this by offering grants to Burger King employees and their families after some sort of emergency has occurred. An emergency could be anything like the death of a close friend or relative, a natural disaster, a medical emergency or another unforeseen circumstance that causes monetary distress. These grants are as high as $4,500 and help to support people through what can be an expensive and difficult time.

Since its creation, the emergency fund has granted $2.6 million to Burger King employees in need across 30 countries on six continents. This widespread emergency relief helps to soften poverty’s hold on damaged communities, like those in the wake of brutal natural disasters and guarantees a smoother recovery for struggling families.

The Burger King Foundation’s Impact on Global Poverty

Because of its education and relief-focused missions, the Burger King Foundation indirectly relieves poverty around the world.

Between scholarships and emergency grants alone, Burger King has donated nearly $65 million to thousands of individuals across dozens of countries. However, its effects are broadened by its partnerships with other non-profits and support of educational projects like Room to Read.

Burger King Foundation’s poverty-fighting belief that “through education you can explore your full potential and live life your way” demonstrates the fundamental goal of all of the foundation’s actions: Education and relief help a person achieve more than they could have otherwise, thereby building stability and growth around him and eventually lifting him out of poverty.

How You Can Support Burger King’s Fight Against Poverty

Anyone can support Burger King’s fight against poverty by making a monetary donation online or attending a Burger King Foundation event. Events include annual conventions, golf outings and more.

Burger King’s two-faceted approach to poverty relief is helping thousands of people around the world. It is helping to equalize education and support its employees amidst times of financial need, all of which have a positive impact on fighting global poverty.

Suzanne Ackley
Photo: Fickr