Sparkt And Partners Distribute 10,000 Sandwiches To Hungry Neighbors
Generous businesses donated and prepared enough food for 10K bag lunches for families, neighbors, even strangers in need.
Stronger together. That saying has been woven into the tightly knit fabric of many communities, uniting us during the darkest of times.
That phrase rang true in Pittsburgh when Sparkt partnered with the Chaffin Luhana Foundation, Oakmont Bakery and a group of other businesses to turn 2,500 pounds of deli meats into enough sandwiches to feed a lot of people -- and spread some hope.
The crazy idea to make 10,000 sandwiches started with Sparkt CEO Marty Griffin's friend Eric Chaffin and his Chaffin Luhana Foundation. Eric knew a guy who was willing to donate 2,500 pounds of lunch meat from Nation's Best Deli Meats. The challenge was to figure out how to turn all that meat into sandwiches.
Pretty soon Marty's friend Marc Serrao, owner of Oakmont Bakery was on board to help get the meat sliced and make the bread. "I was thinking maybe 5,000 [sandwiches] but my son Tony happened to be there and he said dad we absolutely can do this, it will be a great thing to do at this time. So we did it," said Serrao,
This woman said she represents a group called Backpacks For Hunger and planned to distribute her carload of lunches to children and seniors.
Serrao got on the phone and recruited Lamagna Cheese from nearby Verona, which donated 400 pounds of cheese. Cellone's Italian Bread Company came on board with additional loaves of bread. Turner's Dairy just a few miles up the road in Penn Hills donated 20K+ pints of milk, and UTZ snack food company snack food company from central PA stepped up with 10,500 bags of chips. Now 10K sandwiches were starting to look like ten thousand lunches!
It took 5 days for Serrao's team to prepare all 10,000 lunches, and just 3 hours for them to be distributed. Devon Pachete from Lamagna told me it's times like this when the community needs to come together the most. "Times are tough. So if we all pitch in it works out really well," said Pachete,
It rained most of the morning as people came through the drive-up (keeping social distancing!), but the moods of many were lifted as people entered the parking lot of the bakery, intent on taking their bagged lunches to people in need, from churches to nursing homes and students out of school. Even thought the destinations were different, the expressions of humanity were all the same.
This woman's "V" for victory summed up the feelings of the hundreds of people who came to pick up the bagged lunches.
"Its amazing, all these people distributing food. It's wonderful," said one woman.
"Pittsburgher's always help each other, but this was an obvious event to show that really does happen in our city. So we're all thankful for all the people," said Serrao