Kentucky Fried Chicken has a mission to feed the hungry, and this endeavor goes beyond quick-pickup bucket meals that can satisfy an entire family. It’s a commitment that starts at KFC’s headquarters in Louisville and extends across the globe.

“KFC is a company that feeds the world, not only with our world-famous chicken, but also with our huge heart,” said Jason Marker, KFC U.S. President.

From its inception, giving back to the community has been a mission ingrained in KFC’s DNA. In fact, Colonel Sanders himself was well-known for his philanthropy. When he passed away in 1980, he gave most of his fortune to charity. Today, with more than 20,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries and territories, KFC is a charitable leader operating around the world to help fight hunger through a wide variety of global, national and local efforts.

Global efforts to provide hunger relief

On the world hunger stage, KFC supports hunger relief through its “Add Hope” initiative, KFC’s signature global program. The Add Hope program raises support for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian agency dedicated to global hunger relief.

Each year during October, KFC restaurants across the United States participate in a three-week Add Hope fundraising campaign for WFP, giving customers an opportunity to donate $1, which will provide four meals for a child in need. Every dollar raised through Add Hope goes directly toward WFP’s operations to fight hunger, including the agency’s school meals program, which feeds nearly 18 million boys and girls in the world’s poorest classrooms.

In 2016, nearly 1,200 KFC team members volunteered to serve as Add Hope Ambassadors and led fundraising efforts in their local restaurants. Due to their efforts, the 2016 Add Hope campaign raised approximately $750,000 and provided nearly 3 million meals to those in need around the world. Last year was the 10th year KFC has partnered with WFP to help solve world hunger.

“KFC’s support of WFP helps fund its school meal program, which provides balanced meals to millions of children across the world. As a business, it is our privilege and responsibility to give back to our communities, both globally through the WFP, and locally, with our volunteer programs,” said Marker.

Food donated to pantries throughout the U.S.

One of those local volunteer programs is Harvest, KFC’s food donation program. Through Harvest, KFC employees across more than 4,000 United States restaurants are encouraged to support their communities by partnering to donate surplus food to food pantries within 10 miles of their location. When participating in Harvest, each restaurant is partnered with a local charity and coordinates a weekly pickup schedule while tracking the donations to ensure safety and quality.

KFC also focuses on local programs

KFC is always front and center for local programs and events where food is needed. Local beneficiaries of KFC’s generosity include Frazier History Museum, St. John Center for Homeless Men, Blessings in a Backpack, St. Vincent De Paul, Kentuckiana Pride Festival, Cabbage Patch Settlement House, Neighborhood House and The Salvation Army.

One special project where KFC partnered with a local charity in an at-risk community was Neighborhood House’s “Back-to-School Bash” in July 2016. For this event, KFC donated backpacks and school supplies, with volunteers helping each individual child “shop” for their supplies.

“One of my favorite memories at the beginning of every school year as a kid was getting all of my new school supplies,” said Jill Leedom, Analyst with KFC Marketing. “Not until I was older did I realize how big of a privilege it was. I was fortunate enough to be able to share that experience with kids who wouldn’t have been able to experience that joy without some help from the community. As one of those partners in the community, KFC provided me the opportunity to relive that excitement, and I could not be more thankful.”

Neighborhood House Executive Director Pam Rice said that KFC also provides boxed dinners for the youth development program in the Portland neighborhood. “KFC Yum! has been a great neighbor to Neighborhood House.”

In October 2016, KFC held a “500 Meals Event” where 75 restaurant support center employees graciously volunteered to cook, package and hand-deliver 500 KFC meals throughout the day to St. John Center for Homeless Men, Neighborhood House and patient families at Norton Children’s Hospital to celebrate the Add Hope program in our local community.

Charitable involvement embraced by employees

“There are few things that make me prouder to work at KFC than when I can use my skills, combine it with our product, and produce meals for the local community,” said Stefanie Hancock, Field Training Instructor, KFC. “We’re taking care of our community the way the Colonel would if he was still here.”

During the holiday season in 2016, KFC reached out to another charity with a long history of partnership with its organization – The Salvation Army, an organization that Colonel Sanders himself staunchly supported in his lifetime. KFC Corporation sponsored the first 400 Salvation Army Food Angels of the season to help the program get off to a quick start. The Food Angels program provides holiday meals to families in need in Louisville.

Salvation Army Director of Community Relations Dave Yarmuth said the donation was a tremendous gift that underscored the KFC/Yum! Brands commitment to world hunger relief, this time through the lens of local action. “They really walk the walk at KFC, and feeding people is so important. It’s where it all starts.”

To read more about KFC’s commitment to the community as part of the Yum! family of brands, visit yumcsr.com. For information on careers at KFC, where you can make a difference and have fun at the same time, visit jobs.kfc.com.