KFC, Taco Bell and Yum! Volunteers Deliver Hope One Meal at a Time

May 28, 2014 2:30 PM ET

Yum! Global Newsroom

A Yum! Brands Volunteer for Hope team continues to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of seniors, across Oahu, Hawaii, packing and distributing healthy meals to recipients who might otherwise go without.

Since 2012, the team has partnered with Lanakila Meals on Wheels, a nonprofit that delivers thousands of meals to seniors each year.

One such recipient of the organization’s service is Lawrence, who lives alone in a small studio apartment in Oahu's Chinatown neighborhood. He enjoys doing the daily crossword puzzle, people watching from his window and visiting with the volunteers who come to see him each week. With limited means of cooking, he often stretches the one delivered meal into lunch and dinner, stating, "The meals are very generous."

Yum! Brands Senior Operations Manager, John Gafney has developed a personal relationship with Lawrence, delivering meals to him once a week for the past year. "Last Thanksgiving, I gave everyone on my route a pumpkin pie," said Gafney. "Lawrence told me the next week that it was so good. He hadn't had a pumpkin pie in so many years. He went and shared the pie with some of his friends in his apartment complex. He was so grateful."

Lanakila Meals on Wheels is also grateful, both for the team's continued support and its $20,000 grant award from the Yum! Foundation, Those funds enabled the organization to expand its Christmas dinner celebration, as well as expand the organization’s reach in 2014. Though the team is affecting many lives, Gafney said the 90 KFC, Taco Bell and Yum! volunteers involved feel they're getting out of the project even more than they're giving.

"Lawrence is such a gentle, humble man with a big heart," said Gafney. "Every week, I call him when I am close and he meets me at the front door. We chit chat about his week and then we say our goodbyes. He's a truly neat individual."