Over the past 12 months, I’ve spent about $800k on pizza. Any normal year would have seen me spending about a quarter of that on pizza for tour guests, but this last trip around the sun has been anything but normal. Live tours are off the table, so I’m directing my energy toward other projects. Rather than pontificating on current industry trends, I’ve decided to use my column this month to tell you about how you can get involved with the project I’ve spent most of my time developing.
I founded Slice Out Hunger in 2015 to support hunger relief organizations across the U.S. through pizza-related campaigns and events. Years before we scored our official 501(c)3 status from the IRS, our fundraising ran through the pizza tour company and benefited New York City organizations. We hosted an annual pizza party that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars by pairing a $1 Pizza Party with corporate sponsorship opportunities.
The event’s success begged for expansion, but its physical demands made that difficult. Instead, we started launching decentralized campaigns to benefit local hunger relief organizations across the country. Every National Pizza Day (Feb 9), we team up with the World Pizza Champions to coordinate a massive donation from pizzerias to their local shelters and soup kitchens Pizza Across America. When an emergency hits, we rally pizzerias to create specialty pizzas and donate a portion of sales to those in need. Just last month, we pulled together Toppings For Texas to support those in need after the massive storms and power outages across the Lone Star State.
Here’s where you come in: I’m asking you to join our organization. It’s 100 percent free and you may already have fulfilled our member pledge. Members must either donate 30 pizzas or raise $300 for a local hunger relief organization every year. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start, that’s our job. We’ll arrange opportunities for you to fulfill the pledge by connecting you with soup kitchens and shelters in your area. If you’re already doing something to support hunger relief, just let us know so we can amplify your signal across our channels.
To join the hundreds of pizzerias that have already signed up, just head to sliceouthunger.org/apply and fill out the form for each of your locations. We’ll send you a membership kit with window decals so you can show your community support.
Slice Out Hunger is all about helping you help your community. Join us now and become part of the pizza industry’s strongest force for neighborhood support.
SCOTT WIENER is the founder of Scott’s Pizza Tours in New York City and SliceOutHunger.org Instagram: @scottspizzatours