Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a division of AFC Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: AFCE), joined Share Our Strength’s Great American Dine Out presented by American Express as a participating restaurant. This new annual event is designed to rally the nation’s entire restaurant industry and encourage millions of consumers to dine out to end childhood hunger in America.

“One in every six children in America suffers from uncertain access to the healthy, nutritious foods they need to avoid the lifelong and devastating consequences of hunger,” says Billy Shore, founder of Share Our Strength. “We are in striking distance of ending childhood hunger by institutionalizing what we know has worked, and by joining forces together we can make this vision a reality.”

“We are experiencing a crisis unlike any other with food and fuel prices forcing families to make difficult resource allocation decisions on a daily basis. The result is that 12.6 million children are at risk of hunger in America, a problem that has a far-reaching impact on every aspect of our community,” says Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. “Popeyes is proud to be a participant in this consolidated, industry-wide effort to end childhood hunger. Our involvement and the participation of other industry organizations is critical if we hope to someday ensure that no child ever worries about having the food they need.”

Restaurants can participate in the Great American Dine Out in a variety of ways including donating a percentage of sales during the week, promoting a new menu item, collecting donations from guests and/or employees and more.

As part of the program, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen will contribute 1 percent of its sales in participating restaurants in New Orleans, Atlanta, Memphi,s and Nashville for the week of the DineOut, up to $25,000.

Thousands of restaurants are already participating in the Great American Dine Out, and more are joining daily. The Great American Dine Out is endorsed by many of the country’s top chefs including Chefs Thomas Keller, Mary Sue Milliken, and Tom Collichio and industry executives Danny Meyer, Phil Friedman, Sally Smith, and Wally Doolin. Food Network Star and host of the hit TV series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy Fieri, has stepped up to serve as the national spokesperson.

The Great American Dine Out is presented by American Express. Founding national sponsors are SYSCO Corporation, San Pellegrino, Acqua Panna, and Ecolab. Founding national partners are Food Network, etools, National Restaurant Association, Nation’s Restaurant News, and OpenTable. Founding promotional partners are Fishbowl Marketing, People Report, and the Elliot Group.

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