Derek Edwards took his determination from the football field this spring and served pizza to families in need.
The Novi freshman and offensive lineman for Central Michigan University’s football team was eager to volunteer at Little Caesars mobile Love Kitchen, at its recent stop in Mount Pleasant.
“I just tried to make sure that I talked to everybody who came through the line,” Edwards said. “It’s really important to give back to the community, because they’re always at games supporting us, so we want to support them, too.”
Edwards was a big hit among the children who came with their families to pick up pizza, making conversation with their family members and high-fiving each child who approached him.
“I just wanted to make the kids feel really welcomed,” Edwards said.
Nearly 70 Mount Pleasant families were aided by Little Caesers’ Love Kitchen on wheels.
Love Kitchen, a national initiative started in 1985, travels across the continental United States and Canada, meeting the needs of the hungry, homeless and disaster survivors. According to Little Caesars’ Love Kitchen website, more than 2 million people in 48 states and four Canadian provinces have benefited from the service.
The cart made an appearance at Community Compassion Network, located at 2420 E. Broomfield Road, on March 28. Needy, local families were able to turn in previously distributed tickets determining how many pizzas each family was allotted, depending on the number of family members.
“The Love Kitchen was created to provide quality meals for people who need them,” said Little Caesars Zone Vice President Beth Townsend in a news release. “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.”
In addition to CCN staff members, about a dozen members of the CMU football team came to volunteer their time.
Local Little Caesars franchise owners and company regional offices donate all food and labor for Love Kitchen appearances. As estimated on Little Caesars’ website, about 50,000 franchise owners and employees have volunteered their time with Love Kitchen.
Love Kitchen has also responded to national disasters, including the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, hurricanes in the east and on the Gulf Coast. The kitchen also served pizza at the site of the World Trade Center attacks, and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.