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Health Department Chief Uneasy About Food Stamp Proposal

The acting director of Louisville’s health department says he concerned that allowing certain food stamp recipients to use the vouchers at fast food restaurants could send a mixed message about nutrition.

Louisville-based Yum! Brands has been lobbying the Beshear administration to authorize food stamp use at restaurants by the disabled, elderly and homeless.

Local News

“Kentucky Meals” Rumor Used In Possible Attempt To Discredit Egyptian Protesters

In Egypt, word has been spreading that anti-government protesters have been eating food from KFC. But as the Los Angeles Times reports, the rumors may be an attempt to discredit the demonstrators.

“A meal at KFC can cost what locals make in an entire day or even a week, making it inaccessible to many Egyptians. And KFC became a proxy for anger about perceived Western interference,” writes Raja Abdulrahim. Abdulrahim’s story follows Rehab Salah, who went to Tahrir Square to find out the truth about the KFC rumors she had heard. If the protesters were indeed eating the expensive food (colloquially called Kentucky meals), it could cast doubt on their means and motivation.

But Salah found no trace of the Colonel in Tahrir Square. Abdulrahim notes, “Tahrir Square does have a KFC restaurant, but it has been closed since the protests began Jan. 25. Its glass doors are locked and graffiti has been spray-painted along the front: “No Mubarak.” A temporary clinic has been erected in front of the restaurant, and the sick and injured lay on blankets underneath the KFC sign.”

The article cites another example of the Louisville-based fast food chain symbolizing western society: a KFC in Pakistan was burned in the riots that followed the 2006 publication of a Danish cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad.

Local News

Yum Brands Selling Long John Silver’s, A&W

Yum Brands is putting its A&W and Long John Silver’s chains on the market.

The Fortune 500 company purchased the two chains in 2002, and is now looking for buyers. Yum officials did not return requests for comments, but in a press release, company officials said the sale is necessary as Yum focuses on expanding its KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains domestically and internationally, specifically in China.

Most of Yum’s profits come from abroad, and the company hopes to make 75% of its profits in China by 2015.

Officials say the sale of Long John Silver’s and A&W is not expected to hurt profits. Yum owns more than 37 thousand restaurants worldwide. The two chains account for just over 16 thousand of those.

Local News Next Louisville

Ali Center Launches Peace Garden Initiative

By Sheila Ash

The global launch of the Muhammad Ali Center Peace Gardens was held Tuesday.

John F. Kennedy Montessori Elementary School in west Louisville is the pilot school for the gardens planned at schools around the world.

The project is aimed at teaching children how learn about diversity by building gardens with plants from different countries.

Principal Opal Davis Dawson says the students took part in every aspect of the garden.

“I know that we walked by classrooms and I saw (the students) peeling tomatoes, and peeling potatoes and then at the end of the day we’re going to have an opportunity to show that children can feed other children by donating all remaining food to the Dare to Care Food bank at the kids café,” she said.

Yum! Brands Foundation is providing educational tools plus $100,000 in grants to build gardens at schools in underpriveliges areas of  the world over the next four years.

Both Muhammad and Lonnie Ali attended the announcement.

Local News Next Louisville

Six More Arena Sponsors Announced

By Rick Howlett

The Louisville Arena Authority has lined up more sponsorships for the new facility at Second and Main Streets.

Officials announced Monday that partnerships have been signed with Woodford Reserve bourbon, Kentucky Ale, OfficeWare, E.ON U.S, Klosterman Bakery and JBS Swift.

Woodford Reserve and Kentucky Ale will have their names attached to a lounge and sports bar in the arena; the others will have signage throughout the facility. OfficeWare will also provide copiers and printing services.

Arena Authority Chairman Jim Host says the latest deals are worth $4.6 million.

“There are still a number of signs to sell. There are still a number of naming opportunities inside to sell. But we’re much further that I ever thought we would be at this point,” he said.

So far the authority has secured about $44 million in sponsorships, including a ten year, $13.5 million agrement to name the arena the KFC Yum! Center.   

The facililty is scheduled to open in November.  

(Photos by Linda Doane/Louisville Arena Authority)

Local News

Yum! Cuts 'Several Hundred' Louisville Jobs

Yum Brands is selling off many of its company-owned restaurants to franchisees and that sell-off means hundreds of jobs will be lost at its Louisville headquarters. Yum is one of Louisville’s largest employers. The company announced today that it would eliminate ‘several hundred’ white-collar positions, but wouldn’t say exactly how many.

Senior Vice President Jonathan Blum says the move has nothing to do with the worsening economy.

“We’ve been selling off our company owned stores for a number of years and we believe it will enable us to operate more effectively and improve our cost structure and this is an ongoing strategy,” says Blum.

Another 200 or so Louisville jobs will be moved to other cities, where Yum chains are headquartered. Blum says the jobs cuts will be complete by the end of the year.

Yum Brands owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers and A&W All-American Food.