Good Neighbors

1,000 Free Pizzas Bring Smiles During Coronavirus Challenges

We teamed up with Pittsburgh-based Monte Cello's restaurants for a generous act that truly made a difference.

Joe Wadlow, Domenic Ricci and I have something kind of important in common. We're passionate about making a difference. And we want to do what we can to make life a little easier and a little happier for people who are facing unexpected challenges because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Domenic Ricci explains that they wanted to give back to customers and community.

Joe and Domenic are co-founders of Monte Cello's restaurants, with five locations in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Last week I called Joe with a crazy idea (what else would you expect from me?!). What if we teamed up to give away 1,000 free pizzas? Bam! Five minutes later and Joe was on board.

We asked people to call their favorite location to "order," and today was the big giveaway. We were there at the Monte Cello's restaurant in Ross Township early this morning as dozens of restaurant employees started baking up the pizzas. Later we got to talk to some of the grateful customers as they came by to pick up thier pies.

Dave from Millvale came by for a pizza for his three kids at home. "It's great the community does stuff like this," he told me with a big smile on his face. We can only imagine the smiles on those kids' faces when dad came home with the pizza!

We saw people giving tips to the restaurant employees who were working so hard on the giveaway.

For Ricci, the idea of giving away 1,000 pizzas was a no-brainer. "Here at Monte Cello's we believe in giving back to the community especially in times of crisis."

Timing out the pick-ups helped keep it all rolling smoothly.

He had the giveaway running like a well-oiled machine, with four pizza makers inside the restaurant cranking out the pies, and a small army of employees (wearing gloves to keep it all sanitary) out in the parking lot, handing the pizzas to customers as they drove in at their pre-determined pick up time.

This isn't the only time we've teamed up to support an act of generosity by local businesses feeding people in need in the past couple of weeks.

Leading up to today's big giveaway Monte Cello's has been handing out free pizzas to people on the front lines of the coronavirus (see below), folks like doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, EMS, you name it.

Last week, a group of local businesses came together to make and give out 10,000 sandwiches (see below). That's a lotta food and a lotta smiling faces in the space of two weeks!

We're proud to be part of supporting efforts to feed people in need because of the coronavirus crisis.

I can't be more grateful. This underlines the humanity and the kindness of folks. Making a difference in one of the most difficult times America has ever seen. It's what we're about at Sparkt.

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