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Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, and Choithrams, a leading supermarket chain in the UAE, have successfully teamed up for two joint initiatives that contributed more than one million school meals to the World Food Programme (WFP) during 2018. The donations will be used by WFP to feed vulnerable children in the region through its School Feeding programme.

In the first campaign launched during Ramadan, Choithrams customers showed their generosity when they were invited to add a donation to WFP upon checkout, with Mastercard matching all donations made using Mastercard products. In the fourth quarter of 2018, Choithrams and Mastercard joined forces again; this time, the companies collectively donated the equivalent of two to eight meals whenever a specially marked Goodness Foods product was purchased.

“At Mastercard, we understand our responsibility towards being a force for good and believe that we can leverage our global brand to create a positive impact in our communities. As part of the global commitment to 100 million school meals, these campaigns reinforced our promise to doing well by doing good while also highlighting what can be achieved when different industry players come together for the greater good. The success of the one million school meals campaign is the success of our partnerships and we thank Choithrams, the World Food Programme and the generous UAE public for helping us Start Something Priceless in the lives of those less fortunate,” said Mustapha Kassem, VP, Marketing and Communications, MENA, Mastercard.

“For children around the world, eating a nutritious school meal each day makes a world of difference. It not only fills stomachs but also helps children focus on their lessons, leading to higher attendance rates and better performance in class. School meals are an important investment for a brighter future, and we are grateful that Mastercard, Choithrams and shoppers are working together to provide their support,” said Mageed Yahia, Director of WFP UAE & Representative to the GCC, World Food Programme.

Strong examples of the power of partnership, these campaigns highlighted the spirit of generosity that prevails within the UAE community. As individuals from all walks of life came forward to make generous contributions, Choithrams and Mastercard reiterated their ongoing commitment to WFP through gift-matching and direct funding.

“We, at Choithrams, are convinced that we all have a role to play in ensuring that each and every child around the world gets the food they need to survive, learn and reach their full potential,” said L T Pagarani, Chairman, Choithrams. “Together with our partners Mastercard and WFP, we tried and built a bridge to connect Dubai residents with children who require support to study and stay healthy. We are grateful to our staff and customers for crossing that bridge once again to help deliver one million school meals to children in need.”

Choithrams and WFP have been strategic partners since 2015, having collaborated four times in the past on “zero hunger” campaigns in supermarket locations. A family-owned business that started in West Africa in 1943, Choithrams has a long history of philanthropy and collaborates with WFP to give back to the region where its success story began. Through direct funding and instore campaigns, Choithrams has contributed and pledged a total of US$2 million to WFP to date, helping build a world in which everyone has access to the food they need to survive and thrive. On average, it costs WFP one dirham to feed a child a nutritious meal in school. Funds have been used to support school feeding programmes in Benin and Jordan and to improve how food assistance is provided through cash-based transfers.

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