Man concocts genius way to feed the hungry using McDonald's Monopoly vouchers

Posted October 4, 2016

Sharing a bit of luck can go a very long way. That's what one man learned when he found a way to turn his McDonald's Monopoly voucher into a movement to feed the hungry. (Deseret Photo)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Sharing a bit of luck can go a very long way.

Matt Lawson was pleasantly surprised when he won a free McChicken sandwich with the breakfast he’d ordered at his local McDonald’s, according to Metro UK. But as he was driving away from the restaurant, he noticed a homeless man on the corner and decided to pass his little piece of luck to someone who clearly needed it more.

“I parked, took a photo of the voucher and gave (the voucher) to him,” Lawson told Metro UK. “He was a proud man and told me that he’d been a banker, but a series of events had left him on the street.”

Lawson said the man took the voucher, shook his hand and the two parted ways.

But the simple exchange served as a bit of a lightbulb moment for Lawson. What if everyone who won free food through McDonald’s Monopoly passed those winnings along to those who couldn’t afford to feed themselves?

Lawson posted the photo of his Monopoly voucher to his Facebook page along with an earnest plea.

“If you win free food by purchasing food you would have bought anyway, why not put your tokens in a jar and take them to an area where you know there are people less fortunate than yourself?” he wrote. “If all of us do it together we can be part of a small change.”

Lawson’s simple idea has yielded an extraordinary response. So far, his post has garnered more than 38,000 reactions and 18,000 shares. Hundreds have committed to spreading the word — some approaching McDonald’s about setting up collection boxes, and others bringing tins to work.

“I’ve had schools and businesses setting up jars to collect tokens and stories of groups of 25- to 30-year-olds heading into the city just to hand out their tokens,” he told Metro UK.

Even local Salvation Army stores have gotten in on the efforts, offering to collect the “instant win” vouchers for distribution, according to 9News Australia.

“While it is junk food, a person that hasn’t eaten for days will appreciate it,” Lawson said. “It makes people aware of the homeless issue and teaches them to give.”

Initially, Lawson said McDonald’s wasn’t so keen on the idea as the vouchers are supposed to be nontransferable, but once the effort caught fire, the company jumped on board.

“We admire Matt’s efforts and it’s up to customers how they use their tickets,” the fast food chain said in a statement. “We’ll honor any ticket presented in restaurant.”

Unfortunately, fans in the U.S. will have to wait to join the movement because McDonald’s Monopoly isn’t currently running in the states.

Jessica Ivins is a content manager for and contributor to the Motherhood Matters section.


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