STUDENTS at a remote school in Mukdahan recently welcomed a number of volunteers. In the classroom, they were taught about food safety and, out of class, they got their hands dirty in the preservation of locally sourced materials like mushroom and eggs.
Together, they produced much-needed food for the entire school, under a CSR campaign run by KFC Thailand.
Called “KFC Add Hope”, the project was initiated by the company’s headquarters with the main focus on the objective of “Reducing World Hunger”.
It was carried out in various parts of the country with local initiatives. As in other markets, KFC’s Thai operations contribute a sum and raise more from customers through donation boxes at its restaurants.
Parts of the funds raised in Thailand will be donated to the United Nations, and the rest used to finance HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s school-lunch project and another school-lunch project under World Vision Foundation’s supervision.
Three schools – one each in Mukdahan, Si Sa Ket and Chanthaburi – were picked for the World Vision project this year, involving over 150 volunteering KFC employees.
Anhul Chauhan, an executive of Yum! Restaurants International (Thailand) and KFC’s chief marketing officer, said the project’s objective is to help children in remote areas learn about food nutrition and being able to grow crops to feed themselves.
It was conducted under the programme “Volunteer for Hope”, which promotes KFC employees’ participation as volunteers in their hometowns.
The volunteers have learnt to teach children to live sustainable lives by telling them how to grow crops and eat nutritious food, and have made them happy by organising many fun activities for them.
The most important thing is that KFC employees have learnt to give without expecting to receive anything back. “Under ‘Add Hope’, there are two main focus areas: people and community,” he said.
“We believe in all people and actively invest in coaching and growing the capability of every person in our business. We deliver on our commitment by focusing on these key areas: our culture – How We Win Together, Employer Brand of Choice, Building People Capability, and Associate Wellbeing.
“We are a company with a huge heart and we believe our greatest contribution as a global company is in making food accessible to the less fortunate,” he said, adding that the company is committed to making a difference in the lives of customers, associates, franchisees and their families. Aside from the school-lunch project, the company’s CSR commitments are extended to the sports area with the “Seven Shoot” project.
Initiated in 2009, the project is open to all youth nationwide who can form a seven-person team for a youth football tournament.
This year, a total of 1,052 teams participated in the tournament. Since 2009, over 10,000 teams involving more than 70,000 kids have joined the project.
Chauhan said that both projects had won positive feedback, encouraging the company to continue them next year.
“KFC has learnt from these two community activities we have been implemented that there are many more children out there who need our support. There are many underprivileged children who lack opportunity to have good-quality lives. The ‘Seven Shoot’ project provides them an opportunity to enhance their skills in sports by learning from their friends and professional football players.
“The most important thing is that sport enables children to use their free time wisely and keeps them healthy,” he explained.
Environment also in focus
The focus is also extended to the environment, as the business strives to be a green and responsible company.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) stores project has been implemented in phases, to transform all KFC stores across Thailand to LEED outlets. This requires approval from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), of which Yum! Global is a member.
Green buildings concentrate on the core areas of energy savings, water conservation, site sensitivity, sensible material use, and environments for people.
Yum! has developed a streamlined road map to LEED for its restaurants, called Blueline, which was developed by Yum!’s Global Sustainability department and development partners from around the world, including Australia, China, France, Thailand and the United Kingdom, said the executive.
Projects using the Blueline system are capable of pursuing certification under the LEED rating system. Reducing energy costs is one of its goals. Other benefits will be the usage of green electricity, which will definitely reduce electricity usage nationwide.
This year, 10 KFC stores in Thailand have received LEED certification and another is in the process of certification approval, Chauhan said.
“As a responsible business operator, KFC does it best to give back to society,” he stressed.