Charity through chicken: Inside KFC and FareShare’s partnership

KFC and FareShare shine a light on how their partnership is tackling food insecurity by redistributing surplus chicken to those in need, aiming to support struggling communities.

KFC and FareShare

By Jenny Packwood, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, KFC Pan-Europe & UK & Ireland, and Kristopher Gibbon-Walsh, Chief Operating Officer at FareShare

Currently, more than 11 million people in the UK are living in relative poverty, while over seven million people are living in food insecure households,1 meaning they don’t have reliable access to affordable and nutritious food. This reality has major impacts on those who experience it, often leaving them and their families hungry, isolated, and with declining health.

Food insecurity is driven by a range of factors, including but not limited to, income, employment, and the unprecedented rise in the cost of living. The impact of this latter point is clearly illustrated by the latest data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which reveals levels of food insecurity in households rose from 4.7 million in 2021/22 to 7.2 million in 2022/23.2

As more individuals and families find themselves unable to afford essentials, such as food, reliance on food charities and community kitchens has increased.

This is why KFC UK&I and FareShare, the UK’s biggest charity tackling food waste, have been working in partnership since 2022. Together we ensure surplus fried chicken from KFC restaurants can be enjoyed by those who may be going hungry, via FareShare’s network of charities and community groups. Our partnership illustrates the important role big businesses can play in supporting communities and responding to social issues at a local level. It also unites us around a shared belief that good food, especially great chicken, should never go to waste.

From a KFC perspective, this partnership forms part of our ongoing work to be the most responsible and sustainable business we can be. We have more than 1,000 restaurants across the UK and Ireland so it’s important for us to show-up as a good neighbour in our local communities.

At FareShare, that sense of community is also at the heart of everything we do. Our volunteers who use their time and efforts to support others in the local area are the backbone of our entire operation. Many initially come to us driven by a desire to help others, but most stay due to the sense of camaraderie, belonging and friendship. 

With community awareness of charities that provide food provisions and the propensity to volunteer huge factors in our ability to deliver on our mission to tackle food waste, we together commissioned research to better understand them.  

We found that one of the biggest barriers that keeps communities from accessing support is a lack of awareness of available resources. Through our research, we’ve found that just 10 percent of people would be able to confidently locate their local community kitchen, despite one in six of the UK population struggling to get enough to eat. This is in contrast with 88 percent of the population who can easily identify their nearest KFC restaurant.

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Another challenge is recruiting volunteers, who make charity work possible. Our research found that over half of Brits are keen to offer their time to a local charity, and 32 percent would volunteer at a local community kitchen if there was one in their area. However, again, lack of information and limited awareness of local charities were identified as key reasons people have not volunteered more in the past.

For the most part, surplus KFC chicken is transported from restaurants to local charities and community groups via bikes, which are ridden by volunteers. We brought this process to life with our very own bucket bike, a KFC and FareShare cobranded food delivery bike, which replaced a traditional food storage box with a 2.5ft tall KFC bucket, complete with giant chicken.

The Bucket Bike was ridden by volunteers at FareShare Sussex and Surrey with a view to raising awareness locally of how more people can engage in volunteering and to showcase the resources available to those who most need them.

We believe in the power of community and the importance of standing together to support each other, especially during challenging times. Last month we hit the huge milestone of one million meals redistributed through our partnership and we’re on track for another exciting milestone – to redistribute the equivalent of two million meals by the end of the year!

We’re inspired by the difference we’ve been able to make so far but know there is still much more to do when it comes to ensuring people in need can access vital support. Looking to the future we’re excited to continue our partnership, drive even greater impact, and help as many people as possible.




About the authors:

Jenny PackwoodJenny Packwood is the Chief Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Officer at KFC UK & Ireland. She believes passionately in the vital role that business needs to play in tackling the environmental and social challenges the world faces today. She started at KFC UK& Ireland in 2008 and over the past 15 years she has played a critical role in both the evolution of the brand and the focus the business has on sustainability and social impact.

Jenny has been pivotal in kick-starting KFC’s global focus on social purpose, spearheading KFC’s partnership with Fareshare and the launch of KFC’s ground-breaking youth employability programme – Hatch, which, in partnership with UK Youth, aims to help break cycles of disadvantage and unemployment for young people.

Jenny also led KFC’s journey to improve chicken welfare, culminating in the business being ranked top of World Animal Protection’s The Pecking Order report in 2021. At COP26, Jenny led KFC’s net-zero announcement, committing to becoming a circular zero waste business in food, packaging, and materials by 2035, as well as becoming a net zero carbon business by 2040.


Kristoph Gibbon WalshKristoph Gibbon-Walsh is the Chief Operating Officer at FareShare. He helps redistribute the food through supporting FareShare’s Network of Regional Centres, FareShare Go operations, food and people safety, logistics and coordination and the amazing community of charities. He’s also responsible for strategic external relationships with other charities and food redistributors.

Before working at FareShare, Kris lived and worked in France, India, Croatia and Romania on a range of engineering projects after finishing a PhD in Environmental Chemistry and Engineering. Kris is also the co-founder and Chair of an international, epidemiological society.


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