Made and delivered 130 pizzas to evacuees in Bend and Redmond
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Wildfire evacuees in Bend and Redmond received about 130 pizzas Thursday, thanks to a collaborative effort among The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and Little Caesars.
Little Caesars cooked the pizzas in their mobile "Love Kitchen" on site at The Salvation Army building in Bend.
Little Caesars has three of those mobile kitchens at its headquarters in Michigan. They had been grounded since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March.
However, because several families have displaced from the Oregon wildfires, the "Love Kitchen" has recently been put back into operation.
One of the trucks arrived in Oregon a few days ago, first going to Klamath Falls, then to Phoenix, before arriving in Bend on Thursday.
After the 130 pizzas are delivered, the truck will travel back to Michigan.
This is the first time The Salvation Army and Red Cross have teamed up with Little Caesars. It's part of a larger effort to help wildfire evacuees, which has been going on since mid-September.
In that span, The Salvation Army and Red Cross have donated more than 4,000 meals to evacuees in Bend and Redmond.
The Red Cross has helped with sheltering the 120-150 evacuees, while The Salvation Army has been delivering lunches and dinners every day.
But as Salvation Army Bend Corps Major Michael Johnson put it, it's more than just a free meal to these families.
"Got to have an interaction with a few people who have lost everything," Johnson said. "So they're just grateful that somebody's looking out for them, that cares about them, that can at least empathize a little bit of what they're going through. To us, it's just making a meal, but to them it's a hand of kindness, an act of kindness."
The Salvation Army has also been handing out clothes and gift cards to the evacuees, as well as helping them find jobs in Central Oregon.