General Mills Foodservice today announced the biggest year yet for the Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives College Challenge, an annual program where college and university chapters of the Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) fraternity partner with campus foodservice operations to help raise awareness and funds for the breast cancer cause. Participating schools ramped up efforts this year to achieve a record number of 343,077 Yoplait lids collected, nearly tripling the previous year’s total.

Members of ZTA at the University of South Florida raise money for Yoplait's Save Lids to Save Lives College Challenge.

For the fourth year in a row Georgia Tech led collection efforts with a total of 25,991 lids, breaking the record they set in 2008 of more than 18,000. Quick on the heels of Georgia Tech in second place was The University of South Florida, who pulled out all the stops to increase their lid collection 97 percent over last year with 21,671 total lids. Rounding out the top five schools included the University of South Carolina, Louisiana State, and Baylor University.

Each pink lid from the top of Yoplait yogurt cups collected and mailed in helps Yoplait meet its goal of raising funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care and energize science to find cures. Students, faculty, and alumni at the participating schools were encouraged to save their pink Yoplait lids and drop them off in collection bins around campus.

2009 marked the 11th year of Yoplait yogurt’s Save Lids to Save Lives campaign, which calls for men and women to take action to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. This past fall, special pink lids topped Yoplait yogurt cups, and for every lid saved and mailed in by Dec. 31, 2009, Yoplait pledged to donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, up to $1.5 million, with a guaranteed donation of at least $500,000. Since 1998, when the program began, Yoplait has donated more than $25 million to the breast cancer cause.

General Mills Foodservice provided participating schools with the marketing tools to execute the Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives program on campus, which included collection bins, posters, table tents, banners, t-shirts, and Yoplait branded giveaways. On-campus dining services worked with campus ZTA fraternity members to generate publicity and drum up support.

“The Save Lids to Save Lives program is a great opportunity for the campus community to come together for one important cause and make a difference,” says Tanya Kroll, associate college and university channel manager, General Mills Foodservice. “General Mills has been a longtime partner in the fight against breast cancer, and we’re inspired that the participating schools share our passion and commitment to helping raise awareness for the cause through Save Lids to Save Lives.”

ZTA Supports Breast Cancer Education and Awareness The Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives College Challenge is proud to partner with Zeta Tau Alpha, a national fraternity whose national philanthropy has focused on breast cancer education and awareness since 1992.

From yogurt eating contests to awareness events with college women’s basketball teams, ZTA members get creative in their lid collection efforts. At the University of South Florida, ZTA members partnered with campus dining provider Aramark on a number of awareness events across the university’s three resident dining halls. With the help of campus dining services, ZTA held an awareness event where they handed out literature about the breast cancer cause and made Yoplait yogurt parfaits to order. Each student was given a pink Yoplait lid to place in the dining hall’s collection bin and a sticker to wear that let students show they did their part to support the cause.

According to Ken Patten, director of residential dining at University of South Florida/Aramark, the breast cancer cause is very near and dear to him. “My mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, so it was really important for me to get our campus involved with Save Lids to Save Lives,” Patten says. “I have to give much credit to the ladies of ZTA. They are incredibly instrumental in bringing this program to life on campus and in our community. It is their passion and excitement that is the driving force of our success.”

Yoplait has been recognized as the “top socially responsible brand” in the food and beverage category according to the 2008 Alloy Media + Marketing annual College Explorer Study conducted by Harris Interactive. The study’s findings show that college students continue to demonstrate strong commitment toward the brands they feel are contributing positively to world issues and prefer brands they perceive to be socially responsible.

College and university foodservice operators interested in participating in the 2010 Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives College Challenge are encouraged to contact their General Mills Foodservice sales representative at 1-800-882-5252.

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