By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Monday, March 20, Little Caesars will help feed the hungry in Etowah County with its Love Kitchen. One of the two kitchen-equipped trucks will visit the Way of the Cross Soup Kitchen located at 101 North 24th Street in Alabama City, where it will feed about 375 people in need.
“They travel all year long,” said local Little Caesars franchise owner Emad Suleiman. “They try to help the needy free of charge.”
The Love Kitchen is a mobile kitchen that travels throughout the continental United States and Canada to provide food, in the form of pizza, to the anyone in need, including disaster survivors. The kitchen has fed over three million people in 48 states and four Canadian provinces. It has also responded to disasters such as the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, the hurricanes in the East and on the Gulf Coast, the site of the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the 1995 Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City.
“The Love Kitchen was created to provide quality meals for people who need them,” said Suleiman. “As a member of the area business community, it’s important for us to support people when they need it and help make the community stronger. We’re excited to support this program with food and staff to provide a quality meal for people who otherwise may not get one.”
Suleiman will donate all food and four employees for the Love Kitchen servings in Alabama City.
Suleiman hopes to be able to assist The Love Kitchen every year. This is the third time he has sponsored the food truck to visit the Way of the Cross.
The Way of the Cross works hard locally to provide the needy with access to food consistently. In 2014, the soup kitchen provided about 59,000 meals.
In all, an estimated 50,000 Little Caesars franchise owners and employees have volunteered their time over the years to support the program in their local communities.
“We know that it’s important to reach out to the communities where we do business and help make a difference,” said David Scrivano, president and CEO of Little Caesars Inc. “As a family company, we are proud to work together with our local franchisees and company-owned stores to coordinate the vehicle, staff and food and to be there for the people in Gadsden who need assistance.”
The Love Kitchen’s work has been honored in the past. Three former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush awarded The President’s Volunteer Action Award Citation to Little Caesars for its volunteers’ contributions to the Love Kitchen. Little Caesars also received a Presidential Citation for Private Sector Initiatives for the Love Kitchen program under the Reagan administration. It has received a certificate of appreciation from the State of Michigan and was recognized by the Detroit City Council for its efforts in the Gulf Coast region.