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Together Detroit: Founders, Meijer and Little Caesars feed the front line

Michigan companies offer food to those working hard to help others

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

There is evidence all around that people are continuing to support each other and support front line workers whenever they can.

That is also true of many Michigan-based companies like Founders, Meijer and Little Caesars.

When Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered restaurants and brewpubs to close as part of a statewide effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, one of the affected business was Founders Brewing.

With taprooms in both Grand Rapids and Detroit, that meant there was a lot of food left in storage that could have gone to waste.

Instead, Founders offered some of it to their employees and the rest from the Grand Rapids taproom to Feeding America West Michigan and from the Detroit taproom to Gleaners Community Food Bank.

While Mejier, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., has been focused on making sure its stores are safe for both customers and employees, they also wanted to do a little more for the latter group, while at the same time helping local communities.

So each of the 248 super centers, grocery stores and distribution facilities reached out to a local, independent restaurant to buy meals for team members in Meijer's Buy Local meal program.

Tweet from @meijer: Meijer continues to support local communities with our "Buy Local" meal program started to show appreciation for our team members. Over the next several weeks, each store will partner with a local restaurant to purchase meals for our teams - learn more:

"Our teams are working hard every day to ensure our stores are clean and fully stocked so our customers can find what they need for their families," Meijer president & CEO Rick Keyes said in a statement. "This initiative is just one of the ways we are trying to show them just how much we appreciate their dedication, while also providing an opportunity to support important small businesses in the communities we serve."

In Lansing, Mich., Meijer bought more than 1,900 turkey and ham sub sandwiches from Tony M's, a family-owned restaurant.

Johnny Z's Pizzeria in St. Clair Shores, Mich. posted on its Facebook page on April 24: "Grateful to be able to partner with Fraser Meijer and feed their employees 150 pizzas today. Big thanks to Meijer for choosing to partner with small businesses. And big thanks to all of the Meijer employees for all you're doing to keep our community strong!"

Johnny Z's Pizzeria isn't the only company invested in the community.

Little Caesars Pizza announced on April 6 that they would be donating and delivering a million pizzas to health care workers and first responders across the country.

Tweet from @littlecaesars: We will be donating & delivering a million pizzas to healthcare workers & first responders across the country over the coming weeks! Starting 4/13 customers can also ���Pie it Forward��� & donate a pizza to their nearby hospitals, police, & fire departments via our app at checkout.

"Hospital staff and first responders are working around the clock to help keep us safe and healthy, and they are true heroes," said Dave Scrivano, president and CEO of Little Caesars in a statement. "As a family company, we want to thank all of them in the best way we know how - by delivering a wholesome meal."

People can go to to nominate a heroic organization in their town to receive some pizza.

In addition, Little Caesars is offering customers the opportunity to "Pie it Forward" when ordering online or using the Little Caesars app.

In choosing to do so, customers can pay for a pizza to go to local hospitals, police stations or fire stations.

Tweet from @littlecaesars: We #PieItForward to the real heroes out there, like the healthcare heroes at Beaumont Hospital.

As of April 28, people have donated 117,936 pizzas to their local heroes.

Tweet from @littlecaesars: Little Caesars teamed up with the @tigers yesterday to #PieItForward to 6,000 healthcare workers across the state of Michigan in 14 cities as part of our 1 million donation of pizzas to healthcare workers and first responders across the USA!

Currently, Little Caesars had donated and delivered 320,012 pizzas and will continue to do so until they reach one million.

Tweet from @littlecaesars: Thank you for all you do! We're happy to #PieItForward to thank the real heroes. ������🍕

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