The National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls is teaming up with WFP to feed hungry schoolchildren in Darfur, Sudan with a $100,000 donation, WFP announced Tuesday.
CharitaBulls, the Bulls' non-profit organization, is scheduled to present the donation before Tuesday night's game to Friends of the World Food Program, the American non-profit that supports WFP. The donation, made in the name of Bulls forward Luol Deng - from Sudan himself - will go to support WFP school feeding programs in Darfur.
"This timely, generous donation will enable us to reach some 3,000 children in war-torn Darfur by giving them a meal in school for an entire school year," said Jordan Dey, Director of US Relations for WFP, who is to accept the check along with Karen Sendelback, President and CEO of Friends of the World Food Program.
"This wonderful gesture, in the holiday spirit, will also bring much-needed attention to the children of Sudan, who have suffered long years of conflict and deprivation."
Steve Schanwald, the Executive Vice President for Business Operations for the Chicago Bulls, is to present the donation check before tipoff of the Bulls home game with the LA Lakers in Chicago. Deng will also be present for the pre-game ceremony.
Food for education
WFP's food for education program offers children the chance to receive a meal in school so they are both guaranteed one nutritious meal a day and can thus concentrate on learning -- instead of their hunger.
Last year, WFP fed 21.7 million school-children in 74 countries. Research shows that free school lunches can increase attendance rates by 100 percent, and boost performance as well as years at school.
The program has an especially profound impact on the lives of girls who are often denied the same chance at education as boys.
In 2006, WFP provided food assistance to over 6.5 vulnerable million people in Sudan - Africa's largest country. Last month, WFP fed some 2.6 million people in the conflict-ridden Darfur region.
As a WFP humanitarian partner, Luol Deng has volunteered his time and name to help get the word out about hunger. In June, Deng partnered with the Bulls, the NBA and the WFP to produce a Public Service Announcement aimed at helping victims of the Darfur crisis; it was aired during the NBA Playoffs.
In 2007, Deng will again team up with the NBA and WFP to help create awareness about the global hunger issue. The Bulls organization has joined Deng in supporting WFP and the children of Sudan.
The Chicago Bulls hold six NBA championship titles. CharitaBulls has raised money for kids in the Chicago area for almost 20 years.