Weaving across the country, traveling from state to state and community to community, connecting with organizations that help the less fortunate, the Little Caesars Love Kitchen is a charitable big-rig alleviating hunger via fresh, hot, pizza.
With ovens inside the large semi-trailer, the Love Kitchen is a mobile pizza production facility started in Detroit in 1985. After 30 years, this national program has fed more than two million. Since Our Daily Bread (ODB) already operates a feeding program, serving anyone who is hungry free of charge, working with the Love Kitchen is an easy decision.
The project is an exemplary model of corporate philanthropy, because they tap into existing organizations—soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries. Thursday was the third time the mobile kitchen visited ODB.
Before arriving at ODB, Jeff O'Mara, one of two drivers of the East coast Love Kitchen spent the previous 6 days traveling from location to location in Ohio. With 3.5 years driving the Love Kitchen, O’Mara, a Detroit native, appreciates his job, “I like giving back and I like to watch the excitement. It’s kind of like a big pizza party and hopefully it lifts their spirits.”
In addition, this initiative taps into the local corporate workforce with Little Caesar’s franchise owners and regional offices donating all the food and labor costs. Denise Pates, District Manager of 7 stores, oversees this project locally. The Norwood Little Caesars that Pates manages provided both workers and supplies for their visit on Thursday. Pates grew up in Over the Rhine was thrilled to return to ODB this year, “I like coming back home and giving back to my people.”
Shift manager at the Norwood location, Kesha Isome, has worked for Little Caesars for 3 years, but this is her first time volunteering with the Love Kitchen. “I enjoy it. You’re feeding the less fortunate—you’re seeing them smile and seeing people get their bellies full and it’s awesome.
Our Daily Bread routinely provides more than 5,000 meals a month, serving a daily meal Monday through Friday. Thanks to the Love Kitchen’s visit, ODB served 170 pizzas, totaling 480 meals for our guests.
For information about our soup kitchen contact Kathy Schickel, Director of Operations (513) 621-6364 ext. 15, firstname.lastname@example.org