SIDNEY — A local franchisee is making meals in Sidney go a long way.
“We’ve always known (Culver’s is) an organization that has really felt strongly about being part of the community and giving back to the community and helping out a larger cause. This is just another example that really touches home for us,” Derek Potts, co-owner of Culver’s locations in Troy and Sidney, said.
The Make Meals Matter initiative is a nation-wide effort by Culver’s where franchise locations select their participation level and donate profits to the World Central Kitchen, an organization committed to providing meals to those in crisis situations across the globe. World Central Kitchen has current provided over one million meals served to families across Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Moldova, and Hungary.
Potts, who co-owns the Troy and Sidney Culver’s locations with his father, David Potts, decided to donate 100% of all of Tuesday’s sales from both locations to the World Central Kitchen.
“I reached out to dad and talked to him a little bit. He said, ‘what do you think about donating 100% of all sales?’ and I didn’t even hesitate,” Potts said. “Hopefully that will have an impact and make a difference. The need is just so great right now, so every dollar spent in the restaurant today is donated.”
For Potts’ family, the conflict in Ukraine hits close to home. His stepmother, Julie, is from the Ukraine; her parents reside in Kyiv and have a house in the countryside where they had hoped to relocate to. Instead, they had to flee the country, and are currently in Poland.
“I’ve talked to a lot of friends and family members, and you can’t stand to watch the news. It aggravates you, it makes you mad — you know there’s not anything you can do. You watch kind of helplessly, and when you do that, it makes you appreciate the work that is going on on the ground in the Ukraine and in Poland to help all the refugees,” Potts said.
Part of that work is from the World Central Kitchen, which has currently served over one million meals to refugees across over 55 cities in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Moldova and Hungary. With the majority of refugees from Ukraine currently arriving in Poland, the World Central Kitchen has set up 24/7 meal distributions at all eight border crossings.
“When you see stuff like this going on in the world, and you see people stepping forward to make a difference — not because they have to, not because there’s a benefit on their end, but just because it’s the right thing to do — we need that. We need that in society, we need that in the world right now, just people doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do,” Potts said.
While Potts can’t be there to serve free meals to refugees personally, he hopes that his efforts to donate all of Tuesday’s sales to the World Central Kitchen can make a difference in providing meals to those in need.
“The way I look at it is, the way every donation guests are making to the World Central Kitchen — we’re giving them a free meal, but the World Central Kitchen is providing meals for these refugees. I look at this as just a small way that we can help,” Potts said. “What more can I ask for, than an opportunity to be able to do that?”
For more information about the World Central Kitchen, visit https://wck.org/.