At the start of the pandemic, when businesses were shutting down to comply with forced closures and the country was grappling with the spread of COVID-19, small business franchise owners stepped up to support the needs of their local communities. Clarke Williams, proud owner of a Jimmy John’s franchise located in the heart of Washington, D.C., was heartened by the quick response from local officials and vowed to offer his support.
Clarke, along with his employees, began providing meals to healthcare workers and other essential personnel working at testing centers. They have since donated more than 10,000 free meals to hospital workers, first responders, members of the Department of Health, and even members of the National Guard.
The impact Clarke has achieved through his meals extends well beyond the money saved with a free sandwich. The emotional toll of the pandemic is severely felt by those on the frontlines as they work long hours in unprecedented conditions to keep our communities safe. Clarke said the simple act of offering a frontline worker a sandwich and expressing his gratitude for their hard work has lifted their spirits immeasurably. Though the act may seem small, the impact is overwhelmingly large.