How McDonald’s is empowering students with fast food chairs

September 18, 2023 - 6:56 PM
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McDo_ReClassified Project
Sample of McDonald's Philippines' repurposed chairs for its ReClassified project; some students of San Roque Elementary School in Marikina using the ReClassified chairs in this photo taken on Sept. 8, 2023 (Interaksyon/Jeline Malasig)

Would you believe that some students at a public school in Marikina use chairs that have been initially used at a fast food chain?

The multinational fast food chain on September 8 launched its first-ever “ReClassified” project at Roque Elementary School in Marikina City, just in time for the opening of the classes.

The project involves repurposing chairs from renovated McDonald’s stores into classroom chairs that students can comfortably use.

For the first batch of the “ReClassified” project, 100 chairs were turned over to grade school students of Roque Elementary School. Meanwhile, another 100 chairs were given to another school.

According to the fast food chain, they renovate at least 60 restaurants every year.

To address local schools’ needs in terms of classroom equipment, McDonald’s Philippines decided to repurpose the chairs from its renovated stores into armchairs that students can use.

The initiative was made possible with the help of Willie Garcia, founder and principal designer of the social enterprise Junk Not.

Garcia and her team added an arm desk as the basis for the improved design.

They also followed global standards and underwent a structured process to ensure the repurposed chairs’ safety, durability and functionality.

‘We really believe in the youth’

McDonald’s said that the “ReClassified” project is a testament to its longstanding commitment to building, supporting and empowering Filipino communities through education.

The initiative also intends to improve students’ learning experiences across the country.

“Mcdonalds has been about feeding and fostering a community… we all know [that] here in the Philippines, education is really one of our biggest opportunities, especially where the private sector can play,” Adi Hernandez, McDonald’s Philippines assistant vice president for corporate relations, said to reporters.

“We really believe in the youth and that’s why our programs are really geared towards supporting young people and education,” she added.

“Kaya po ang McDonald’s ‘Reclassified’ is one of those initiatives wherein we are demonstrating our commitment to students by advocating education,” the fast food chain executive said.

Hernandez also shared how McDonald’s empowers the youth with other of its initiatives.

“We have, and always will, advocate for the youth through education—and we have been doing so by providing them with regular employment opportunities and world-class training, supporting our charity of choice, Ronald McDonald House Charities and its programs, as well as our other community initiatives like McDonald’s Classroom and Brigada Eskwela,” she said.

“We also have the McDonald’s Night Classroom. So again, it’s really about supporting education, the youth. [This] night classroom is an iteration of Mcdonald’s classroom launched during the [COVID-19] pandemic,” Hernandez continued.

“And we turned the party areas or the unused spaces into learning spaces into stores. We provided free wi-fi, which addressed the needs of students at that time—they had trouble connecting at home, to access online school,” she said.

The fast food chain said the projects align with its community commitments, particularly advocating for the youth through education.