It’s important to remember that you can create something out of nothing. A lot of people have a fun idea, but are afraid to take the first step. I took a baby step, kept pushing, and now it’s become something bigger than I could ever have imagined.
Profession: Owner, Scott’s Pizza Tours
Location: New York, New York
Tell me about your vision for making a difference?
My business exists in the food-as-entertainment world so I thought it was important to do something for people who can’t afford the basics. People are obsessed with food right now and pizza has a particularly strong pull because of its ubiquity. I thought it would make sense to use the momentum of NYC’s pizza obsession to raise money for people in need. That manifested itself as Slice Out Hunger, which gathers some of the best pizzerias in the city for an insane night of $1 slices. The best part is, we have sponsors who agree to match every donation. This way, a slice you buy for $1 turns into several dollars towards local hunger relief. Everybody wins!
How have you grown?:
We started the event with about fifty pizzas and raised a few hundred dollars. Last year (2014) we had over 1,100 pizzas and raised $30,000. The growth has been incredible and now we’re considering options for increasing our impact.
When was your first connection to charity?:
Giving to others has always been a part of my life. We used to make sandwiches for the hungry on Wednesday nights when I was in elementary school. During college, I held a huge concert to benefit a local arts organization. Being part of a community is important to me and it feels really great to know I’m doing something to help someone I don’t even know.
Why the Food Bank of NY?
Food Bank For New York City is an amazing organization that helps New Yorkers in need and that was exactly my goal when this all began seven years ago. For every dollar we send, Food Bank helps fund 5 meals for hungry New Yorkers, so if we sell a slice for $1 and manage to secure $4 in dollar matches it means that slice will fund 25 meals!
What have you learned and advice do you have?
I’m constantly amazed at how much people are willing to give of themselves. We have an incredible volunteer crew that makes this whole thing work and I couldn’t be more honored to work with them.
As for advice, it’s important to remember that you can create something out of nothing. A lot of people have a fun idea, but are afraid to take the first step. I took a baby step, kept pushing, and now it’s become something bigger than I could ever have imagined.