One location of Little Caesars is serving as a model for how restaurants can give back to their community.
Jenny Stevens, who opened a small franchise of the popular pizza chain in Fargo, North Dakota with her late husband Mike Stevens in 2016, talked to TODAY Food about their commitment to feeding homeless citizens in their town. To date, the location has served over 142,000 slices of pizza to those in need of a meal—a commitment which began after they noticed people going through their dumpster for leftover food.
This prompted Mike, who died of leukemia in 2017, to put up a sign outside their door. “To the person going through our trash for their next meal: You’re a human being and worth more than a meal from a dumpster,” the note read, according to TODAY. “Please come in during operating hours for a couple of slices of hot pizza and a cup of water at no charge. No questions asked.”
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Now, she says, when someone comes through the door in need of donated pizza, they give them an entire pie—and they’ve begun working with a local homeless shelter to provide pizzas at no charge.
TODAY reports that it’s added up to about $70,000 worth of food over the years, which has been partly subsidized by customer in-store donations. They have also started a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs.