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Little Caesars feeds hungry at City Rescue Mission |

Little Caesars feeds hungry at City Rescue Mission

A small line quickly grew to nearly 100 people Tuesday inside the City Rescue Mission, as they were beckoned by the aroma of fresh, hot pizza.

Little Caesars Love Kitchen rolled into town, baking nearly 100 six-cut pies to feed lunch to residents of the shelter and members of the community.

Tuesday was a novelty for the people who regularly eat lunch at the Rescue Mission. The pizza was donated by Little Caesars and baked inside a tractor-trailer that rolled into town and parked on the premises of the mission.

Little Caesars dubs the Love Kitchen as “a big rig pizza restaurant on wheels.” It serves free pizza to the hungry, homeless and disaster victims throughout the United States and Canada, according to an advertising flier. 

The company’s claim is that the Love Kitchen has served more than 3 million people in the United States and Canada, in an operation that has involved 50,000 people from its stores and franchises, and it has served more than 6 million free slices of pizza.

Jeff O’Meara, the driver of the rig, had to multitask Tuesday by helping to carry the pizzas into the Mission’s dining hall and making sure the operation went smoothly. 

“The Love Kitchen’s purpose is to give back to the communities where we do business,” O’Meara said. “We’ve been doing this since 1985.”

Two Little Caesars Love Kitchen trucks travel the United States stopping in various towns all year long, seven days a week. There are two drivers per truck.

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The company has a partnership with local franchises and Little Caesars stores, and the company donates the product and the volunteer labor from its local pizza shops.

Some of its stops are bigger than others. In New Castle, the workers baked the pepperoni and cheese pizzas in the morning, enough for 250 people to get two slices each, O’Meara said. His two helpers, Kim McConnell and Elizabeth McFarland, both of the New Castle Little Caesars shop, served the pizza inside the dining hall, where diners also were provided cookies for dessert. 

This was the third year in a row that the Love Kitchen has stopped in New Castle in time for its daily lunch offering, Mission director Kevin Green said.

“We normally serve hot food to about 70 to 100 people every day in the community,” Green said of the mission. “For many people, it’s their only hot meal of the day.”

Typically, the mission’s daily lunch crowd is comprised of people staying at the mission and anyone from the community who desires a hot lunch. The lunches typically are served using ceramic plates with real metal flatware, Green said, but because of the pizza novelty on Tuesday, paper plates sufficed that day.

“It makes a difference in the dignity of the people,” Green said of the more formal dinnerware, adding, “These lunches are how we form relationships and see how we can serve the people.”

The mission through its lunch program tries to network with the people and steer them toward housing, Social Security and Department of Health and Human Services opportunities, he said.

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