LOUISVILLE Ky. KFC, which has asked customers to “unthink” perceptions of the chain and try its new Kentucky Grilled Chicken, temporarily is repositioning its restaurants again, this time for a charitable cause.
Starting Tuesday at a KFC location in its headquarters city of Louisville, the chain of more than 15,000 units worldwide will close restaurants in several American cities over the next few weeks and temporarily covert them to “World Hunger Relief Kitchens” during the lunch rush. KFC employees at those units will serve free Kentucky Grilled Chicken meals to families in need from area shelters.
KFC aims to raise awareness and funds with the closures for parent company Yum! Brands Inc.’s charitable movement, World Hunger Relief. Since Yum launched World Hunger Relief in 2007, it has raised approximately $36 million for the World Food Programme and other hunger-relief organizations. More than 1 million Yum employees have volunteered more than 9 million hours to aid hunger relief efforts, the company said.
KFC will host food drives and charity car washes at the temporarily closed units, the company said, as well as work with local political leaders and celebrities to raise awareness for hunger in their communities.
“While KFC feeds the hungry every day, closing restaurants is a bold step in helping raise money and awareness of world hunger,” said 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 has enlisted the help of singer Christina Aguilera as a spokeswoman for World Hunger Relief. According to the company, hunger affects more than 1 billion people throughout the world, and the problem has intensified due to the convergence of the global recession, excessive droughts and floods caused by climate change, and heavy demand from growing populations in Asia, Africa and South America.
Since Yum went public in 1997, it has donated more than $550 million in food to hunger relief agencies in the United States. More information about World Hunger Relief is available online at www.fromhopetohunger.com .