Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yum!'s From Hunger to Hope

Yum! Brands has teamed up with the Friends of the World Food Program for World Hunger Relief Week.

Called "World Hunger Relief Week," the program supports the United Nations World Food Programme, the frontline agency in the fight against global hunger. During October 14-20, 35,000 company and franchised restaurants located in 112 countries will be participating in some way, including KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Food.

The campaign, which will run from October 14th through October 20th, will increase awareness about hunger, engage volunteers, and raise critically needed funds to help WFP serve the world's areas of greatest need.

"This unprecedented and innovative campaign brings together the public and private sector to address one of the most pressing issues of our time: the world's hunger crisis," said Friends of WFP President and CEO Karen Sendelback. "Hunger is a global concern and an issue that faces each of us no matter where we live and work. Through World Hunger Relief Week, we can all make a difference to stop world hunger."
There's more information and you can donate at the "From Hunger to Hope" web site that Yum! Brands has set up.

Sure, Yum! is using a global tragedy to promote their fast food chains, but it is an important concern that needs awareness.

UPDATE: KFC announced one way their participating today:
The KFC "Honks for Hunger Relief" Tour begins on the East Coast on Oct. 11. The KFC Colonel will be driving cross-country to raise money for World Hunger Relief Week.

Each time the Colonel encounters a motorist who signals support for hunger relief with a honk of the horn, he will add a buck to the KFC bucket. Every honk means another dollar donated by KFC. The Colonel hopes to raise tens of thousands of dollars during his road trip.

Also, the From Hunger to Hope blog pointed out in comments to this blog entry that "we're not trying to promote our food in any way with this effort." I'm glad Yum! is doing something to promote awareness about hunger, but I still fail to see how The Colonel driving cross country with signs and a car plastered with KFC logos isn't promoting their food, too.


Nick Huhn said...

Thanks for mentioning our movement, Ken. Actually we're not trying to promote our food in any way with this effort - we're trying to use our presence throughout the globe to help bring awareness and desperately needed funds to hunger relief efforts for the people who desperately need it most. Clearly it is highly unlikely that most of the people that will benefit from this effort will ever set foot in one of our restaurants, so the objective is to help the crisis at hand and not to sell more of anything. Those of us with the luxury of having disposable income to spend in fast food restaurants can instead spend our money where it can make a more significant and meaningful impact. Nevertheless, we appreciate your efforts in spreading the word about WFP's cause!

Anonymous said...

Well, no offense, but that's total BS. You say "Actually we're not trying to promote our food in any way with this effort" one day before you post a new entry on your blog announcing a new product launch in Germany. Don't try to pretend that this fundraiser isn't a sneaky way to raise sales of a new product (at least in your German markets).

Nick Huhn said...

There's no pretending about it, anonymouse. As with any company that is supported by franchisees, many local markets find ways to do what works best in their areas or regional cultures. Yes, KFC in Germany chose to donate a portion of proceeds from food sales. Most restaurants will ask customers to donate in addition to their food order; which method would you prefer? Did you forget to read all of the other volunteering and fundraising the Germany group and teams around the world are doing? I'll predict which of the two donations sources will be bigger, but does it even matter? Again, the point is not to sell any more of anything than they normally would - it's to collect donations for WFP. Anyone wanting to donate can visit at any time and in doing so ignore Yum Brands and its fundraising in or around restaurants completely. WFP needs funds desperately and there is no chicken, taco or pizza that stands in the way of that need.

You are free to trash the food or brands as you wish, but you may be missing the whole point: Friends of WFP and WFP are collecting funds to feed those who might not otherwise have been fed. Yum and the restaurants are offering to help by making it more convenient to give for the 125,000,000 or so customers around the globe that choose to enjoy the restaurants' food daily. On top of the fundraising, Yum, it's franchisees, vendors, employees, friends and families are donating vast sums to this cause in addition to anything collected in a restaurant. Sneaky?

A global icon like Colonel Sanders is recognized around the globe as a benevolent host and philanthropic entrepreneur. I fail to see how cruising around the U.S. to raise awareness for WFP can or would sell more of anything, but I would welcome the opportunity to be enlightened.

Avery Hackmann said...

If you don't donate, employees will apparently give you trouble.

I just got back from the drive-through at the KFC at 6217 International Drive, in Orlando, FL. They asked me if I wanted to donate, and I opted "no thanks" for this particular visit. Immediately two of the food preparers behind the cashier asked if I had or hadn't donated. The cashier leaned back and told them "no" and then asked me to pull forward from the window and told me she would bring the food to my car. I thought it was odd that the food prep guys would want to know whether or not I had donated, and the fact that there were no other cars behind me in the drive through line.

No cars ever did arrive behind me while I waited. When the cashier finally did emerge with my food, she suddenly gained the ability to smile, handed my the food, and said "Have a nice day."

I drove to Wendy's and ordered lunch there, not willing to risk the possibility of disgruntled food preparation workers doing something distasteful to my food just to spite the "cheap" patrons.