BY GRANT LANCASTER
A campaign created to support local pizzerias and feed aid workers during the COVID-19 viral outbreak has delivered about 3,500 pizzas in just over a week, raising more than $196,000 for the cause.
The Pizza vs. Pandemic campaign is a fundraiser that works with owners of local pizzerias who may be struggling financially during the outbreak to deliver pizzas to doctors, nurses and other care workers across 22 states so far.
The project is the result of a partnership between Slice, a NY-based company that helps local pizzerias across the country develop online ordering platforms to modernize their delivery business, Slice Out Hunger, which raises money for hunger relief efforts by partnering with the pizza industry, and Pizza to the Polls, a nonprofit that uses donations to buy pizza for people in long lines at the polls.
Ilir Sela, founder and CEO of Slice, is thrilled that what started as an idea less than two weeks ago has already had such an impact on the community, he said. Although the fundraiser serves nationwide, many of the donations have been in New York and the surrounding states because of the greater impact of the virus in this region, Sela said.
The organizers at Pizza vs Pandemic ask their donors for recommendations of hospitals, shelters and other care centers that have been greatly affected by the virus, then match them with a nearby pizzeria that can fill the order and could use the support because of the elimination of dine-in services.
One of the steps of this matching process is making sure that the pizzerias use proper employee and food safety precautions during the outbreak and contacting the group that will receive the pizzas to find out how much they can use.
People can donate or send suggestions for care workers in need of a meal on the group’s website, or contact @SliceOutHunger.