Steve Johnson

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - September 16, 2009
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Remember the old slogan “KFC, we do chicken right!”?

Well, KFC Hawaii has taken that slogan to a whole new level with its yearlong contributions to the Hawaii Foodbank. Whether through in-store initiatives or creating a public-service announcement with former news anchor (and MidWeek columnist) Jade Moon this past April for the food bank’s 20th annual Food Drive, the chicken fast-food chain is doing right for the community.

Leading the cause for the past two decades has been KFC Hawaii general manager Steve Johnson (pictured here between KFC employees Simalua Pousoo and Nifo Tuisamatatele).

“I’m glad to be a good partner with the Hawaii Foodbank,” says Johnson, who moved to Hawaii from Omaha, Neb., 20 years ago. And, he says, they upped the ante in April 2008 with the launch of a daylong collection drive that had KFC employees, better known as “Change Angels,” taking to the streets fronting three restaurant locations asking for change to make a change.

“Since we’re promoting the food bank in our stores, employees and managers thought it was only right to do something more,” explains Johnson. “These collection days are fun for them because they get to get out of the restaurant and get involved with the community.”

Last year the Change Angels, Johnson included, raised $4,303; during the April collection they were able to surpass that effort and bring in $10,866, a number Johnson hopes their recent efforts over the Labor Day weekend will come close to (as of press time, the total from all 10 collection sites was not fully tallied).

“It went very, very well, which I was very, very surprised about, especially during these tough economic times,” admits Johnson, the father of 18-year-old daughter Sydney. “I was out at two or three sites, and there was a lot of excitement from all locations. It’s just a lot of fun for everyone involved, and it’s just our day out there with the customers wanting to help out those in need.”

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