CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The Little Caesars Love Kitchen was in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday. It’s a mobile kitchen housed in a semi-trailer that stops in cities all over the U.S. and Canada to get hot, fresh meals to people in need.
“The driver has the greatest job in the world,” said Jake Kennel, a Little Caesars franchise owner based in Cedar Rapids. “He drives around and helps people in need every single day of the week and just being able to help out with that is an honor.”
The Love Kitchen program partners with local franchise owners like Kennel and his business partner Sebastian Brost.
For about thirty years the traveling bake-and-serve truck has provided pizza to disaster victims, the homeless, and the hungry.
It’s operated by Ricardo Moreno, a former Marine, who said he feels blessed to have a job that doesn’t feel like work at all.
“The warmth, the gratitude, the happiness, it’s fulfilling to their bellies, and it’s fulfilling to me,” Moreno said.
Moreno, whose home is in Phoenix, Arizona, said he sees a need for programs like the Love Kitchen everywhere he travels.
“The need is everywhere,” he said. ‘Unfortunately, it’s throughout the United States.”
But after being to more than a dozen states and even to Canada, he’s grown to see the humanity in hunger.
“Everyone has a story, and regardless of what their story is or what life has dealt them, we’re all human,” Moreno said.
And one couple that was at Mission of Hope today said they’re especially grateful for the extra support.
Dennis Cockerham said today inspired him to do some giving back of his own.
“What Little Caesars is doing today shows that there’s a lot of positive,” he said. “I never had thought we’d be like this and now I’m glad that we have been like this. Its changed our lives.”
The Love Kitchen will be at Meals on Wheels in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, where they expect to hand out more than 100 pizzas.