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The restaurant chain announced Monday that its company-owned and franchised stores will donate roughly 10 million slices of pizza starting this week, and is targeting essential workers in health care centers and grocery stores, as well as school children and their families. All 6,126 stores nationwide are expected to participate.
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“When we were looking at how we could help, we knew we could use the reach of our national brand to make a difference in thousands of local neighborhoods,” Russell Weiner, the brand’s chief operating officer and president of the Americas, said in a statement.
“We have franchisees and company-owned stores all over the country already doing amazing work in their communities and we know that by amplifying those efforts together we will be able to help even more people who are struggling right now.”
Some individual franchisees have started their own efforts as part of the pizza chain’s larger strategy. Memphis-area franchisee Jason Shifflett, for example, has committed to donating an additional 1,000 pizzas to those in need in his community, per the statement.
“We take our responsibility seriously and are honored that we can provide meals to those in need, as well as those who are working to save lives during this difficult time,” he said.
San Diego franchisee Shane Casey is matching the 1,000-pizza commitment, and franchisee Jim Gronemann has handed out pizzas to families in LaPorte, Indiana.
Other big restaurant chains have also committed to helping their communities. Taco Bell last week said it would give away at least a million Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos via the drive-thrus of participating locations. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Chop House in New York committed to serving free meals every night to health care workers in the city.