Pizzeria Paradiso makes progress in donating 10,000 pizzas in 10 weeks

Pizzeria Paradiso is feeding families, kids, seniors and essential workers. (Courtesy Pizzeria Paradiso)
On Thursdays, Pizzeria Paradiso gives away pizzas at its location on Rhode Island Avenue in Hyattsville. (Courtesy Pizzeria Paradiso)
By the end of next week, Pizzeria Paradiso will have given away more than 5,000 pizzas. (Courtesy Pizzeria Paradiso)

Many local restaurants have been stepping up in a big way during the coronavirus pandemic and donating food to the community, but Pizzeria Paradiso has the particularly ambitious goal of donating 10,000 pizzas over the course of 10 weeks.

It’s about halfway there.

“We wanted to feed families, kids, seniors and frontline workers,” said Ruth Gresser, owner and chef of Pizzeria Paradiso.

Gresser’s business, which has locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, has been giving away 1,000 pizzas every week for more than a month.

“We’re through four weeks, so we’ve given away 4,000,” said Gresser.

By the end of next week, the restaurant will be over the halfway point and will have given away more than 5,000 pizzas.

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“Doing stuff in the community outside the four walls of our restaurant is important to us,” said Gresser.

“We’re in the hospitality industry which fundamentally is taking care of people.”

The business has been giving away 500 pizzas every Thursday at its location on Rhode Island Avenue in Hyattsville, Maryland. Families who go there also receive a coloring sheet from the local art education organization Art Works Now.

Other Pizzeria Paradiso donations have been made to places such as hospitals, senior living facilities and community centers.

The business just started working on an initiative to feed cafeteria employees in three Northern Virginia school districts. Every Monday in May, Pizzeria Paradiso is providing 200 pizzas to food staff in the Fairfax, Arlington, and Alexandria City school systems.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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