Hinesville’s Kentucky Fried Chicken has teamed up with the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless Inc. to help the homeless during the holiday season with a campaign called “Dishing out Meals: Fighting Homelessness and Hunger in Our Community.”
Hinesville KFC manager Janis Davis and Christi Sanders, marketing manager for Hodges Management Company, which owns 21 KFCs and KFC/Taco Bells and three Dairy Queen Grill & Chills, said something needs to be done to help the homeless, especially during the holidays, so Hodges-owned restaurants are collecting donations to provide meals for those in need.
“This is the first year we’ve done this,” explained Sanders, who said 100 percent of the money collected will be turned over to the homeless authority for distribution back to local agencies and organizations.
“Our emphasis is local. We’re helping to raise funds and make people aware of the great need within our own communities. Every bit of the money raised in our restaurants will be donated to help the homeless. All administrative costs for running the campaign will be an out-of-pocket expense for us, so if (Hinesville’s) KFC raises $5,000, then $5,000 will go directly to help provide meals for the homeless.”
Davis said that she and all the other general managers of Hodges-owned restaurants in Southeast Georgia and South Carolina spent an entire Saturday learning about the needs of the homeless by working with the Salvation Army. The experience, she said, was both enlightening and heart-wrenching.
“I told my employees I wished I could take every one of them through this training experience,” Davis said. “Every person with a need has a story, and many of the people who are homeless today don’t fit the image most folks might think. If more people only knew the number of people in need and the circumstances that caused that need, I feel like they would be more than willing to help.”
She said that since the campaign started Nov. 26, the Hinesville KFC already has received more than $2,600 in donations. A campaign pin-up notes that $5, $10, $15 or $25 donations can be made by customers at the register when they order and pay for their meals.
Sanders said there is yet another way to donate to the Dishing Out Meals campaign through QR codes on the value sheets that are tucked inside all drive-through bags.
Customers can scan the QR codes with their smartphones, which will take them directly to the homeless authority’s website for information about how to make a donation, she said.
Just as they’re grateful when customers choose one of their restaurants for dining, Sanders said the Hodges Management Company also is grateful when a customer chooses to donate to this worthy cause, which ends Dec. 31.
According to its website, the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless is a nonprofit organization that coordinates direct services for homeless families and individuals through a “continuum of care” with community services ranging from street outreach and emergency shelters to employment training and permanent housing.
For more information, go to www.homelessauthority.org.