Fact Check

Did Little Caesars Hang a Sign Offering Free Pizza to Dumpster Divers?

An act of generosity by restaurant managers in 2017 has stayed viral.

Published Apr 8, 2021

Updated Apr 8, 2021
 (Viral image)
Image Via Viral image
Little Caesars put a sign up on its door offering free pizza and water to homeless people searching its dumpsters for food.

A Little Caesars franchise in Fargo, North Dakota put a sign on its door offering pizza and water to whoever had been going through its dumpster in search of food. However, the sign is no longer posted.

In early April 2021, social media users shared a meme that allegedly showed a sign hung on a door of a Little Caesars pizza restaurant that offered free pizza and water to a person who had been going through the dumpster:

The sign was real and was posted on the door of a Little Caesars restaurant located in Fargo, North Dakota, according to local news reports. It read, "To the person going through our trash for their next meal, you're a human being and worth more than a meal from a dumpster. Please come in during operating hours for a couple slices of hot pizza and a cup of water at no charge. No questions asked."

But that was in 2017.

According to a news report on Fargo TV station KVLY, the restaurant's management put the sign up because the location had a problem with someone going through the dumpster and eating leftovers. KVLY's late-August 2017 story about the Fargo store's act of generosity went viral.

The Fargo franchise's general manager at the time, Michelle Lussier, came up with the idea to feed that person, telling KVLY, "Don’t feel embarrassed if you’re hungry and you don’t want to do what others do, you know stand on the corner for handouts. You feel down about that, you’re more than welcome to come here and grab a couple slices."

It's a feel-good story, and because of that, people have continued to share the meme in the years since the story was posted. But few noticed that just over a week later, KVLY posted a follow-up story reporting that someone stole a donation box set up by the restaurant with money meant to help the homeless.

Lussier told KVLY in early September 2017 that the store was still accepting donations to help the needy despite the theft and donating leftover pizzas to local food shelters.

A spokesperson for Little Caesars told us by email, "The sign is no longer posted in the store, but the story is true and the franchisee did provide free pizza to people."


Updated with comment from a spokesperson for Little Caesars.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more