SOUTH SALT LAKE — Established 58 years ago with a handshake and a promise of a nickel for each chicken sold, the world's first KFC franchise opened its doors an hour early Wednesday to feed one hundred hungry adults and children — free of charge.

As part of the world's largest private sector hunger relief effort, the hour-long treat for clients served by St. Vincent de Paul's Weigand Homeless Day Center included a box meal of two-piece chicken, coleslaw, a drink and biscuit.

Tracy Gingell, manager of the famous restaurant at 39th and State Street, said the first-time event for the local business turned out well, with the finger-lickin chicken gobbled up quickly and without fuss.

Busses from St. Vincent's ferried the diners to the restaurant for the event, which lasted an hour. Harland Sanders' first restaurant in Corbin, Ky., also participated in the same effort to feed area homeless.

Yums! Brands' hunger outreach spans 110 countries and involves 37,000 KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Food restaurants. Patrons of restaurants are encourage to donate what money they can on-site or through a Web site,

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Gingell said Wednesday's event cost about $800 in food for the South Salt Lake restaurant. Over the last three years, a total of $60 million has been raised by the Yums! effort, with the goal this year to keep pace with last at $20 million raised.

This year's ambassador Against Hunger is Christine Aguilar, whose song "Beautiful" is featured in a public service announcement to raise money for the campaign.

The campaign estimates there are more than a billion people in the world who are hungry.


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