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KFC Is Putting $6 Million Toward Reducing Inequality in Louisville, Kentucky

Plus, John T. Edge is staying with the Southern Foodways Alliance, and more news to start your day

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A sign for KFC against a clouded sky KFC
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food and Travel Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

KFC and parent company Yum Brands will invest in local organizations

Major brands have always calibrated their PR campaigns based on the political discourse. Chick-fil-A courted conservatives with its “Christian” values, while Skyy Vodka signals its liberalness by sponsoring New York’s Pride parade. Outside of whatever impact these stances have on any community, donating to charity or sponsoring events is foremost about ensuring customers think fondly of your company. As Black Lives Matter protests continue across the country in the face of police brutality, vigilante violence, and threats from President Trump, Yum Brands is launching the $100 million “Unlocking Opportunity Initiative,” with aims to promote equality and inclusion.

KFC will invest $6 million of that into charities and initiatives in its hometown of Louisville, KY, which — as the hometown of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in her home by police — has become an epicenter of the civil rights movement. “Tackling inequality is a long-term challenge that will require local businesses, governments, schools and philanthropists to establish new ways of partnering with and supporting talented community leaders who know the issues and the people most affected,” Jerilan Greene, chief communications and public affairs officer for Yum Brands and CEO of the Yum Brands Foundation, said in a statement. The funds will go toward college scholarships for Black students and teacher development, and provide grands to Louisville-based Black entrepreneurs.

And in other news...

  • In June, chefs and writers called for John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, to resign, after he suggested “gradualism” was the way to address racism and inequity in food media. SFA announced Edge would stay, but they would “launch a long-term strategic review of the nonprofit group to diversify” the organization. In other words, gradualism. [WaPo]
  • This is what hunger looks like in America right now. [NYTimes]
  • The Burger King “of tomorrow” looks like a bank. [NRN]
  • McDonald’s thinks the Big Jack burger at Hungry Jack’s, the Australian franchise of Burger King, looks an awful lot like the Big Mac. [The Guardian]
  • Reese’s is making breakfast snack cakes, which honestly look amazing. [USA Today]
  • Cozy up to a scented candle that smells like...a DQ Blizzard. [DQ]
  • CW: upsetting pizza imagery:

All AM Intel Coverage [E]