Brand Converts Stores into Noontime "World Hunger Relief Kitchens" September 30, 2009 // Franchising.com // LOUISVILLE, KY – KFC is closing restaurants across the country for a good cause as the company feeds those most in need, for free. Today's closing of a KFC restaurant in the brand's hometown of Louisville, Ky., is the first of several temporary closures that will convert the restaurants into "World Hunger Relief Kitchens" during the lunch rush. The closures kick off KFC's World Hunger Relief fund- and awareness-raising activities, which will take place through the end of October.
Employees of each closed store will help serve free Kentucky Grilled Chicken™ meals to hundreds of residents from area shelters. The store closings are aimed at not only feeding the hungry but also raising awareness for fundraising efforts which will take place over the next several weeks. From Philly to Portland, KFCs across the country will be collecting donations for World Hunger Relief now through the end of the October. The restaurants will hold food drives, host car washes and work with local political leaders and celebrities to raise funds and awareness for the issue of global hunger.
Global hunger has reached epic proportions this year – with more than 1 billion hungry people around the world – due to the convergence of the global economic slowdown; high food prices; increased competition for products that produce energy; severe droughts and floods due to climate change; and increasing demand from growing economies in Asia and South America.
"While KFC feeds the hungry every day, closing restaurants is a bold step in helping to raise money and awareness of world hunger," explained KFC President Roger Eaton.
"From employees to customers, KFC is passionate about motivating and educating everyone who is in a position to help the more than one billion undernourished people in the world today."
Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), the world's largest restaurant company and parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, is launching its annual World Hunger Relief campaign to help stop world hunger. World Hunger Relief is the world's largest private sector hunger relief effort, spanning 110 countries, 36,000 restaurants and over one million employees, to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other hunger relief agencies.
Since Yum! Brands and KFC's World Hunger Relief efforts launched in 2007, more than a million of the company's employees, franchisees and their families have volunteered more than nine million hours to aid hunger relief efforts in communities worldwide. The effort has raised $36 million for the World Food Programme and other hunger relief organizations and is helping to provide approximately 160 million meals and save the lives of about four million people in remote corners of the world.
Yum! and its brands have been fighting hunger for more than a decade by donating over $46 million of prepared food annually to the underprivileged in the United States. Since the company went public in 1997, it has donated more than $550 million of its food to hunger relief agencies in the U.S.
KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain specializing in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy®, Kentucky Grilled Chicken™ and Original Recipe Strips with home-style sides, Honey BBQ Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches. There are more than 15,000 KFC outlets in 109 countries and territories around the world serving some 12 million customers each day. KFC Corporation is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky. (NYSE: YUM.)