ATLANTA & CHAMPAIGN – Leading the fight to help and support our nation and citizens, Jimmy John’s franchises and Jimmy John Liautaud, founder and former chairman of Jimmy John’s, are giving away meals to kids and funding relief efforts.
Already in effect, specific Jimmy John’s franchises are giving away free Little John sandwiches to school-age kids during the coronavirus pandemic. This is from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and limits to one per student per day. They will continue to do this while supplies last.
“Well, I was raised if you can, you do, and this community has been huge to us since we’ve been here since 2016. And whenever I find a way to give back I do, cause I can. And the other day I just felt really helpless like a lot of people do. And I was like, ‘oh wait, I own a bunch of sandwich shops. We’ll figure everything else out later. Let’s just make an impact,’ and that’s what we’re doing,” said Charles Damico, Jimmy John’s franchise owner.
For his part, Jimmy John Liautaud has donated over $300,000 via his Liautaud Family Foundation to help those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Donations went out to help Drew Brees feed the citizens of New Orleans and to World Central Kitchen to support their meal programs in Chicago, Illinois, as well as to Inspire Brands’ Champions of Hope program to provide financial assistance to affected employees, among other things.
Liautaud launched the Liautaud Family Foundation in December of 2016 to be more strategic about his family giving and charitable undertakings. The low-profile foundation gave away around $2.3 million in the 2018 fiscal year, and its primary mission is to help others help themselves. The charity gives to both local and national organizations that promote and support health and wellness, education, the military and the arts.
In more recent years, Liautaud has focused on the Horatio Alger Association, of which he is a member. “I never went to college. A lot of what I learned, I learned as I went on. So I love to help people that, for whatever reason, are downtrodden.” The Liautaud Family Foundation recently directed $1.291 million to the Horatio Alger Association to support scholarships for underprivileged students. As with his own background, Liautaud is convinced that with the proper support, disadvantaged youth have unique and important experiences that can be leveraged for success.
About Jimmy John Liautaud
Jimmy John Liautaud is the founder of Jimmy John’s, a sandwich chain that prides itself on “Freaky Fresh” ingredients and “Freaky Fast” service. In January 1983, he opened his first store. Through hard work, tenacity, good taste buds, and an eye for detail, Liautaud grew his business from one shop in Charleston, Illinois to 10 shops and then franchised to reach over 2,800 locations across the United States. Since the successful acquisition by Inspire Brands, Inc. of Jimmy John’s, Liautaud has stepped down as chairman of the company and transitioned to becoming an adviser to the brand.