A call for 150 pizzas spiraled into Operation Pizza, an effort that is feeding National Guard troops stationed in Washington.
Security has increased in Washington after a group of supporters of President Donald Trump ransacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The riot led to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.
Thousands of National Guard troops are stationed in the city through next week when President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are inaugurated.
Until then, there’s pizza. A lot of it.
Reps. Michael Waltz and Vicky Hartzler first ordered 150 pizzas Tuesday for the troops at the Capitol Visitor Center.
“We wanted to help, so we matched (the order),” Micheline Mendelsohn, the deputy CEO for the company that owns We the Pizza, told the “Today” show. “Then we realized we weren’t even sending nearly enough, so we just started donating to troops.”
That order soon doubled. They have served troops more than 700 pizzas so far, ”Today” reported. Another 300 are prepared for Friday. The pizza shop plans to deliver 300 pizzas a day to the troops until next week.
“We are so honored to serve the National Guard doing the important work of keeping our Capitol safe,” the company wrote on social media.
Other restaurants have also hopped on board.
District Donut, Buffalo and Bergen, CHIKO, The Duck & The Peach, Maketto, Ris and Pizzeria Paradiso are also getting in on the food philanthropy.
“Because we’re all a community that COVID and now these violent protests have hit hard,” Mendelsohn said. “I mean, the whole city. Really. It’s bananas.”
While the interest from the public is appreciated, a National Guard spokesperson told Axios “we are not logistically able to accept donations of any kind.” The spokesperson stressed that troops are on a rotation and have sleeping quarters at area hotels, along with being supplied hot meals or MREs (meals ready to eat) while serving the Capitol and surrounding area.
Cox Media Group