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Business brings smiles (and food) to kids

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches has been donating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the CLNkids since May in participation with the chain’s national initiative Project PB&J.

The project was created by Which Wich founder, Jeff Sinelli in Dallas. For every peanut butter and jelly sandwich sold, the franchise donates two of them to people in need.

“Here in Albuquerque, when we ring up a pb&j it generates one for CLNKids and one for use nationally in large scale relief work,” said Matt Kuchar, owner of the two Which Wich restaurants in Albuquerque. “We have a discretionary fund that we build up to 20,000 to 50,000 sandwiches that we can use to feed whoever on a national scale, and each participating store generates a certain amount to donate.”

CLNkids, short for Cuidando los Niños, is a non-profit organization working to end child homelessness in the Albuquerque area. They function as an early childhood learning center where homeless children ages 5 and younger can be enrolled in preschool, toddler and infant programs, said Sherri Wells, CLNkids development and communications director. The children participate for one year while their parents work with a case manager to find safe housing, a job and other necessary resources to bring them out of homelessness, she said.

“Which Wich comes every Wednesday and brings us 100 PB&J sandwiches,” Wells said. “We cut them up in little fours for the infants and use them for snacks. The preschoolers get a whole sandwich and oftentimes they take half home to share with their mom or brother or sister. This has been a real blessing for our children to have.”

Which Wich also catered the charity’s 25th anniversary celebration on Oct. 4 and created PB&J platters worth $100 and $1,000 for attendees to purchase, Kuchar said. They sold six of the $100 platters and one donor purchased the “Which Wich PB&J experience” for $1,000. That plate included a lunch served on silver platters for up to 50 people and entertainment from a barber shop quartet

“We’re just happy to help them out with this small thing. It’s pretty simple but it’s become a really important thing because the kids love them,” Kuchar said. “It’s not just us. It’s (CLNkid’s) creativity, thinking and good will that pushed us.”

Once a month the local financial agency Sunwest Trust also holds a birthday party for all the children who have had birthdays that month, Kuchar said. Which Wich will begin catering these parties beginning in November.

“I really believe they are raising awareness about homeless kids in the Albuquerque area,” Wells said.

Marielle Dent is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @Marielle_Dee.

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