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St. Louis Alderwoman Triplett Wants Chain Restaurant To Donate Unused Food, Poll

August 15, 2010 Economy, Homeless, Sunday Poll 43 Comments

ABOVE: Little Caesers Love Kitchen
ABOVE: Little Caesars' Love Kitchen. Source: littlecaesars.com

Last week St. Louis alderwoman Kacie Starr Triplett (D-6) sent a letter to the corporate headquarters of the Little Caesars pizza chain encouraging them to donate pizzas rather than toss them out if not purchased within 30 minutes.   Here is the full text of her letter:

August 9, 2010

Little Caesars World Headquarters
2211 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

To Whom It May Concern:
It is well known the Little Caesars Pizza brand has sponsored a variety of charitable endeavors, most specifically the Little Caesars Love Kitchen. The mobile kitchen has proved to be an innovative and successful tool to feed communities devastated by disaster. The program brought a hot meal to rescue workers at the World Trade Center site as well as Hurricane Katrina victims along the Gulf Coast and continues to contribute to various disaster relief efforts across the country.

While the Love Kitchen is a great way for Little Caesars’ corporate body to help feed the hungry and the homeless in this country, it seems every restaurant bearing the Little Caesars name can play a better role in fighting hunger in America. It has been brought to my attention Little Caesars employs a policy of discarding unclaimed pizzas 30 minutes after they are made rather than donating them to local charitable organizations. Given the Little Caesars public commitment to “give back to the communities in which it serves”, (see; http://www.littlecaesars.com/news/community.asp) this policy is both surprising and disappointing.

With only a few mobile units, the Love Kitchen is not able to reach more than a small portion of the country at any given time. If this policy was to be reversed and the excess pizzas donated to local homeless services organizations, each Little Caesars restaurant would help to make a greater impact in reducing food waste and hunger across America.
Operation Food Search, a food bank operating here in the Saint Louis area, receives donations from several local restaurants, caterers and food manufactures, including your competitor Pizza Hut (see; http://www.operationfoodsearch.org/). Given the thousands of hungry individuals in the city of Saint Louis alone, it is unfathomable Little Caesars has chosen to discard their excess pizzas rather than committing to donate them to a local food bank or homeless care provider.

If it is a question of liability, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects all food donations made by Little Caesars Pizza (see; http://www.operationfoodsearch.org/donate-today/food/business-food-donations.php). Additionally, if someone from your office would like to know more about the donation process or would like an introduction to local food banks or homeless services providers in the Saint Louis area, I would be happy to make the introduction myself.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Sincerely,

Kacie Starr Triplett

Alderwoman, City of Saint Louis, Missouri

Cc: Saint Louis Local Franchises of Little Caesars

The poll this week is your reaction? Should we pressure private businesses to donate rather than waste or should it be up to them to waste or donate?  The poll is in the upper right hand corner.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "43 comments" on this Article:

  1. Guest says:

    She ought to use her recent essentially self-given $4k per year raise to purchase pizzas for anyone she chooses.

  2. Guest says:


    You do have a point, after 30 minutes the pizza does take a turn for the worst. However, what is the point in throwing away food, no matter how disgusting it may be. Those who are hungry should be the ones deciding if the food that's been donated is edible or not. Because of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, companies that produce semi-edible food that turns after a certain amount of time are NOT liable for what their food does–as long as they donate it.

    One person's trash may be another man's treasure. They should just suck it up and donate.

  3. Douglas Duckworth says:

    “Given the thousands of hungry individuals in the city of Saint Louis alone, it is unfathomable Little Caesars has chosen to discard their excess pizzas rather than committing to donate them to a local food bank or homeless care provider.”

    I find this statement hilarious, as if corporations, alderman, or average citizens really empathize with the plight of our local homeless.

    Campaign war chest's are far more offensive (in a one party machine City where very few people run out of turn) given the amount of poverty in our City.

  4. Paul says:

    I had no idea there were still Little Caesars in St. Louis. I don't think I've seen one in 20 years.

  5. JZ71 says:

    As a private business, Little Caesars has every right (and no obligation) to donate, or not, as it sees fit. Maybe A-B should donate all their stale beer? How about Hardee's and Panera (both local companies)?

    Bottom line, literally and figuratively, these campanies are in business to sell their food, not give it away. Yes there are some poor people who won't eat because they don't have the necessary cash for even a cheap item. But many poor people also have addictions to alcohol, tobacco and/or illegal drugs, and are choosing to feed their addictions before they feed their stomachs.

    Yes, it's a choice, so until the same pressure is put on RJ Reynolds, Ligget & Meyers, Gallo and Heaven Hill to donate, to say nothing of Laclede Gas, Ameren UE, Missouri-Amerian Water and Walmart, it's a bit unfair to be putting pressure on restaurants, alone. Yes, it sucks to be poor. But why is the focus primarily on food? Why not on free, donated utilities, booze, cigarettes, clothes, earnings taxes, transit passes, etc., etc.?! Aren't these industries better postioned / generating higher profit margins / better able to give away stuff? If they did, there'd be more money left for food – it's all about choices and priorities . . .

    • Pressure from customers is how you get private businesses to change their practices. Aside from providing food for the hungry there is the disposal concern. Should we fill our limited landfills with food that could have been cincpsumed? Utlities are regulated and are not allowed to disconnect customers for non-payment at certain times of the year.

    • Jzazz says:

      Agreed. Once again you have people who's idea of charity is to take the shirt off one person's back and give it to another.

      • So the dumpster is a better place for this food than a person in the community?

        • Jzazz says:

          No, it's not better. Here's a brief summary why:
          LC is not a non-profit. They are in business to make money. With this requirement, their cost of doing business goes up. Increased labor costs, increased storage costs, increased management/administration costs, increased paper work, etc etc etc. This will result in an increase in product price (consumer loses) and/or decreased salaries(employee losses).
          The needy also looses. It simply is not good to make someone dependent on handouts. It diminishes their personal initiative and reduces their self-worth. I'm sure the requirements for an entry level position at LC is not too stringent. Perhaps, the needy can apply for a job, earn money and pay for their food.

          • Chris says:

            “It diminishes their personal initiative and reduces their self-worth.”

            When you haven't eaten a square meal in several days, your personal initiative and self-worth are reduced anyway. Have you ever been homeless or dirt poor (I haven't either)? Until you have, I find it disingenuous to criticize people without jobs. It's not as simple as just “pulling up your boot straps.” Most people I know who say stuff like that have received financial help from their parents.

          • Douglas Duckworth says:

            Thanks Show-Me Institute employee.

            I don't see how donating food increases labor costs?

            Dependent on handouts. This is charity. I thought conservatives and libertarians prefer charity?

            Self-worth? Have you been unemployed? That reduces self-worth. Someone looking out for you, because they care, increases faith in humanity. That might help fight personal depression or at least reduce the headache from not eating.

  6. Pizza Lover says:

    Isn't it cruel to make the homeless eat Little Caesar's “pizza”?

  7. JZ71 says:

    A few more thoughts: One, Little Caesars (and other pizza chains) are not great examples of waste. Since they don't do pizza by the slice, there really isn't much waste at the end of the day. Each pizza is made to order, and while there will inevitably be some mistakes and misorders, they're a relatively small percentage. If you really want to feed the poor, better to go after places like Cici's, Golden Corral, Hometown Buffet, Sweet Tomatoes or any number of chinese buffets, where their business model results in significantly higher daily amounts of usable “waste”.

    Two, at the end of the day, most workers just want to shut things down and hit the door. Preserving a small amount of leftover food is simply not a priority; it's just easier to put it in the dumpster.

    Three, while there is a law protecting businesses who donate food, there is no law protecting businesses from frivilous lawsuits. Until the cost of malicious prosecution gets shifted to the ambulance-chasing plaintiffs, most business aren't going to risk giving away $20 or $50 dollars worth of food, when defending against a bogus lawsuit can easily cost tens, hundreds or even thousands times that amount.

    Four, Procter and Gamble, through their Tide Loads of Hope program, has created a vehicle where interested consumers can pay a premium and that additional money can be directed to a worthy cause. Little Caesars could do the same thing, by creating a something like a Pay-for-Three-and-Get-Two program. But the odds of that actually working are slim – you “eat” Little Caesars because it's cheap and quick, not because it's very good or because you have a lot of extra change in your pocket.

    Finally, why not go after Starbucks? Instead of giving the tips in the tip jar to the employees, give 'em to the poor. But wait, aren't the barristas working hard because they need the money? Aren't they getting tips for doing a good job? Who really “deserves” the extra cash / product?!

    • Little Ceasars has pizzas ready for pick up throughout the day. You can walk out with a pizza minutes later, they have massive waste if these are not sold within 30 minutes.

      • JZ71 says:

        They're not stupid. They precook only one kind of pizza (pepperoni) and keep it in a warming oven. They only make as many as they expect to sell. Most of the time, they're pretty close. Sometimes they need to throw one or two away. Sometimes they come up short, and the customer will have to wait the 5 minutes for one to come out of their high-speed oven. But they're not cooking 20 pizzas at 9 pm and hoping that customers will come in, then end up throwing away 18 of them. (If they are, they won't be in business for very long.)

        Still, two points – it's their choice (yes, based on customer input AND economics) and too many lawyers (it's cheaper to dump “perfectly good” food than it is to keep “looking over your shoulder” waiting to get sued [not convicted, just sued] because someone thinks they got food poisoning from your generosity).

        Bigger/littler picture – should Pi be using their Pi truck to feed the poor, instead of just feeding yuppies?! At least Little Caesars has a Love Kitchen and is trying to do their part in a way that works for them. Apparently, like they say, no good deed goes unpunished . . .

        • Pi is owned by a local resident, not governed by a board of corporate directors. And I seriously doubt Pi ever has uneaten pizza around that gets discarded.

          • Libertyreigns says:

            Steve, you SO obviously voted for Obama. You react with emotions rather than plan with logic. Your mind has a brick wall of ignorance, stubbornness and denial. The truth, and the reality of human nature elude you incessantly because your ego is in the way. You're not doing any good. The family that owns Caesars is one of the most generous in the country. They do more to improve their hometown of Detroit than you'll ever know. They create thousands and thousands of jobs, generously give to charity, and are rebuilding the city in spite of destructive democratic incompetence and corruption, they don't give handouts, and, I bet, neither do you- or you'd end up homeless too. Visit SE Asia or India, or Africa, if you want to see ACTUAL homeless people. About 1% of the homeless in the U.S. are legitimate hard luck cases, mentally challenged or handicapped, the rest are drug addicts and criminals. I've worked in the field- I've seen it- and you can do your own homework and look at the real numbers- but that won't change your mind either. As for the local LCP franchisee- why don't you do something for someone instead of criticizing a local businessman who is probably just trying to take care of his own family. I might just want to look at your income and charity ratio and begin to criticize you- you are not holier than thou- and I've had enough of you “progressives” trying to steal in the name of piety. Stop it and shut up. I'll bet you don't even know if you're Keynesian or Austrian when it comes to economics.

      • matthb says:

        I don't think you can conclude the waste is “massive”. We get pizza from there now and again, and there is rarely more than one or two pizzas in the warming oven. And they only bake one to replace one. With steady traffic none would go to waste during the day and you might have one there at the end of the night.

        So what are the logistics involved with getting one or two 30 minute old pizzas per store to the people in need? Seems like it would be pretty inefficient, thus having a charitable arm of the business or straight donations seems like a better use of funds. The other choice would be to have those in need hang out and wait for 30minute old pizzas, but that would probably be bad for business.

        • 3rd largest pizza chain in the US and the largest to bake pizzas before being ordered equals massive in my book.

          • Libertyreigns says:

            Your ego, presumptions, lack of intelligence, lack of real hard data, accusatory nature and general aura of smugness equal MASSIVE in my book.
            I call for a complete audit of YOU by your comrades to make sure you aren't too wasteful or inefficient.
            I hate to say it, but I hope there is a civil war between progressives and conservatives, because the only reason a liberal ever needs a gun is to commit suicide, which is why they rail against owning them, making our victory decisive. You are a fascist. Every thought, every retort, every part of your being oozes entitlement, elitism, and unattainable and fantastic theories. Get your own pizza, loser.

          • erin says:

            Say whatever else you want to but at least Steve's being polite and not resorting to insults and name-calling when he doesn't have anything else.

    • William Kruse says:

      “Three, while there is a law protecting businesses who donate food, there is no law protecting businesses from frivilous lawsuits.”

      You're post is not quite accurate. The very first motion filed by the defendant would be a motion to dismiss, and its basis would be a statute granting it immunity from suit.

      • JZ71 says:

        And what would that cost? $100 $500 Along with potentially bad press? Versus tossing $5 or $10 worth of product in the trash? It's a business decision, one based on risk versus reward.

      • Libertyreigns says:

        YOU ARE post is not QUITE accurate? Do you want to check your mentality and spelling before you post?
        You are = you're
        Your = pronoun (for something that you possess)
        Yore = olde English for a long time in the past
        Their = pronoun (for something that they possess)
        They're = They are
        There = not here, but over there!
        I mean, since you're splitting hairs over the accuracy of a post, I thought I'd follow your lead.
        I'm poking at you because I hate communists and defenders of their ideals so badly I've made it a resolution to go after every stupid liberal comment until I grow weary of troll-bashing you weak-minded Obama lovers… It only takes a couple of lines to spot one. Generally you're all Islamic apologists and elitist hypocrites.
        I'm an apostate, so don't jump to your racist gun, you've no ammo. YOUR lack of understanding of human nature and business is only outperformed by your lack of critical thinking skills and the lack of comprehending mere English words, a language I assume you speak…
        Just like Oblamer, you find someone to blame and take it court! Lawyer up! As if it would be that easy. I guess you've forgotten what happened to McDonalds for selling hot coffee through a window- now you want LC to place themselves in a position where those being fed will surely bite the hand that feeds it. I realize jz71 has made the point succinctly, and that jz71 made the point logically. You assume LC should take the risk because they've got “immunity”? Surely the easily hysteri-ized (my made up word, I get one too) masses would cry for blood after one homeless “victim” contracted a stomach virus due to the “negligence” of the corporation.

  8. Fluffer says:

    FOOD SAFETY. After 30 minutes, if it's not thrown in the fridge, it should be thrown away. If someone gets sick from a bad pizza, who's at fault? The Alderwoman or Little Caesar's? Nice idea but needed to be thought through a bit farther.

    • Many other food chains have managed to figure out how to donate rather than waste food.

      • William Kruse says:

        I agree, but most of those food donations are in the form of bagels, and other foods that don't go bad as quickly as pizza. From a public health prospective, I don't know that this is such a good idea. Meat goes bad fairly quickly, and pizza has a much shorter shelf life than bread products or vegetables.

        • Libertyreigns says:

          Steve will argue this past the point of logic. No matter how many people point out the obvious, he will never let go. React with emotion, never plan with logic sayeth the progressive.

  9. 6th Ward Voter says:

    This is a great, thoughtful suggestion, characteristic of the out-of-the-box thinking that Alderman Triplett takes to all of her endeavors.

    Panera gives away old bagels to Operation Food Search, so why not Little Caesars? What a great way to provide a hot meal to our city's homeless.

    • Jk988 says:

      “out-of-the-box” uh huh. When Alderclown Triplett can get her race to gel with society, when I'm not waiting in line at the grocery store due to people on food stamps, when I don't see a begging/grifting person at the bottom of essentially every interstate off-ramp in the city, and when she quits improperly disturbing private businesses for unnecessary handouts, I, then, *might* consider her efforts “out-of-the-box.”

      Are these aldermen/representatives ever going to represent the masses? I've had to earn my way and I've invested in myself and, so far, succeeded. IF EVERYTHING IS CREATED EQUAL WHERE IS MY GOD****ED HANDOUT? I'VE HAD TO EARN IT, SO CAN THEY. IF THEY CANNOT, THEN THAT'S JUST TOO ******* BAD!

      • Chris says:

        Hmm, it seems someone has wandered over from the STL Today comment section. The last time I checked, the majority of people I see standing at highway on-ramps begging for money are white. I use the interstate every day, and that' just been my observation.

        Leftover pizza from Little Caesar's is hardly a handout; I consider it a last resort.

        • Libertyreigns says:

          No logic, just inspid democratic posturing. So- if they're too good for LC's (as are you, as I infer) then why do you take the side of the lazy entitled do-nothings? Get your own damn pizza, you friggin' leeches… You progressives will go down hard come 2012. Get a helmet. If you work for a living and make a dime more than a homeless person, you're a greedy, materialistic, selfish, capitalist pig, I guess. Seriously, this bleeding heart nonsense has reached it's end, why don't you wise up and grow up?

      • samizdat says:

        “Alderclown Triplett can get her race”…Wow. And two, two people liked this. Listen, you degenerate, did your mama not wipe your stinky ass when you was a baby? Did not your uncles, aunts, mom, dad, various grandparents, teachers, fellow students, the checkout person at the grocery store, mentors, etc., assist you when you needed help? As a nontheist, I probably shouldn't use this phrase, as it was coined by a Christian, but here goes: No man is an island unto himself. I doubt that you got to your success by living in a vacuum, so quit living this delusion that you are what you are today despite the presence of other people in your life. Humanity didn't get this far by going off and doing it alone. Tell ya' what, go find yourself an island and see how far you can get with your own wits and no assistance from one single human being. That should be the penance for monsters like you: the solitude you so crave and so rightly deserve.

        • samizdat says:

          By the way Steve, could you please ban this fool.

          • Libertyreigns says:

            Again- censorship is the only way you communists can win an argument… wah wah wah! Cry cheat steal! The mantra of the loser. Choke on a slice you fascist.

        • Libertyreigns says:

          You are so pious. wow. Gee, I wonder who you voted for??? As a nontheist, you sure don't mind using their ideology- if you were a Darwinist, or secular, or athiest, you might have to use the ideology of your label: the survival of the fittest. So are you a Christian who finds the label unhip, or an athiest who can't function entirely without a heart? Nontheist, meaning you don't acknowledge organized religion- but maybe some entity of creation? Where, exactly, do you get your ideals and values from? After you cite your sources, tell me where those people got them from…
          The best part of charity, is charity itself- you can't force people. I take exception with the criticism of Little Caesars when I happen to know for a fact about the tremendous amount of good they do.
          P.S. I grew up in Detroit, I happen to love the little greasy cheap pizzas they make, and relish in the fact that you think you're too good for food you say homeless people should eat. You're the typical elitist hypocrite.

  10. Protero Zoic says:

    Somewhere in the not-overly-distant past, we as a society must have made a really bad change of direction. One apparent result being that some of us have allowed our work ethic to turn us into impatient, angry, self-indulging, obscenity-shouting, boors.

    Shame on us.

    • Libertyreigns says:

      Yeah- it's called “Rules for Radicals”- not that distant in the past. It's Obamas playbook. Cloward-Piven, the Alinsky method, the Communist manifesto. They're all Obama's playbooks- maybe you should read them, you might find out that what I'm saying is actually dead on true- as much as people may not like it- you can face facts or you can say something like “everyone's equally to blame”- another lie. That's why society has degenerated to name calling, race-baiting, lying and cheating. As a conservative, I'm a little bit ashamed that I've resorted to the name calling bit, but I won't cave on the rest. Besides, the liberal mentality is an infectious disease, and I can spot the tiniest seed of thought taking root in one sentence. There is a simple philosophy that shall remain timeless, and until a person simply decides which of the following positions to take, they shall forever wallow in confusion and ignorance. It boils down to a simple difference in mentalities- you either come from a place of strength or weakness. You can react with emotion, or you can plan with logic. You can reap your harvest from your toil and sweat, or you can be a beggar or a pauper. You can derive your rights from men, or you can derive your rights from God. The founding fathers knew which ones to choose, do you?

  11. Angelo says:

    Under no circumstance should people be purchasing Little Caeser's pizzas to begin with. People should not be purchasing from corporate chains. We must strive to purchase as locally as possible to support local innovation and to keep as much money in the city/region as possible. The further away the corporate HQ, the larger reach the company has, the less you should spend.

    That will help raise people out of poverty so they don't have to eat the stale leftovers of corporations.

    • Paul says:

      If you were in need of a heart transplant and the only matching donor were an employee of a large corporation in another city, would you accept it or would you refuse it waiting for a local heart from someone who had a small business and gave more to charity?

    • Libertyreigns says:

      You are so phony. LC started as a little local business you ignorant clod. They grew because they made an affordable product- and if you dismiss the food, you reveal yourself as the elitist pig you probably are- food not good enough for you, but good enough for the homeless? I'm from Detroit, where LC started, and we need as much “corporate money” flowing to our city as possible. You socialists are going to crumble at an ever-increasing and hilarious rate. Stay out of the brain cage if you can't battle in the wits-match.


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