Lifestyle & Human Interest

Little Caesars Posts Sign on Door Offering Free Meal After Catching Hungry Man Going Through Trash


In my particular little corner of America, homelessness is a real problem. A year-round temperate climate tends to draw those who don’t have a place to lay their heads at night.

What’s more, a booming drug scene tends to mire them even more in addiction. It’s not uncommon to see someone staggering across the street during morning rush hour in a chemical haze.

Yet despite the fact that homeless can seem unseemly for those of us with automobiles and mortgages, one fact remains: The homeless are every bit as human as you or I.

Eighty-year-old Spanish priest Ángel García Rodríguez knew that full well. In 2016, he hatched an ingenious and sustainable method for helping the truly impoverished without hurting them.

Fast Company reported that he opened a small cafe called Robin Hood in Madrid. It had a unique business strategy.

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Open to the general public only during breakfast and lunch, it charged slightly above-market rates for its grub. But at night, it throws open its doors to the homeless.

They sit and enjoy a three-course meal absolutely free. Rodríguez said his goal was to treat hem “with the same dignity as any other customer.”

According to The Huffington Post, P.B. Jams in Warr Acres, Oklahoma, exercised a more singular concern in 2015. Owner Ashley Jiron noticed that someone had rifled through the garbage behind her restaurant looking for some grub.

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Concerned, she decided to take personal action. She posted fliers around the building offering a free meal to the individual, and then she started a customer-driven campaign to pre-pay for sandwiches for the needy.

“I think we’ve all been in that position where we’ve needed somebody’s help,” she said. “And we just needed somebody to extend that hand.”

A Little Caesars location in Fargo, North Dakota, did much the same thing in 2017. Faith Tap said the store’s employees were securing the building one night when they noticed something odd.

A man was digging through the trash, obviously trying to find some nourishment. However, he fled when the employees started to approach him.

This started a pattern. The homeless man would slink up to the shop whenever he thought people weren’t looking and would run away as soon as people tried to engage him.

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Finally, this Little Caesars decided a different approach was best and posted a notice outside the shop. “To the person going through our trash for their next meal, you’re a human being and worth more than a meal from the dumpster,” it read.

“Please come in during operating hours for a couple of slices of hot pizza and a cup of water at no charge. No questions asked.”

The article never reported whether or not the man took them up on the offer, but I hope he did. Sometimes a little grace can give a person the needed nudge to start turning his life around.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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