This pizzeria may be small, but that hasn’t stopped them from giving away a lot of pizza to the local homeless population.
Just months after Mike and Jennifer Stevens opened up their Fargo, North Dakota pizza restaurant in 2015, they saw a homeless man sitting outside of a gas station for several hours at a time.
“My daughters and I were looking out of the window and saying should we get him something,” Jenny told TODAY Food. “We brought him a pizza. He was so thankful and so gracious. Then we ended up doing it again for a different person. And again for a different person. And again for another person.”
Their kindness did not stop at individual slices, however – one year later, the family realized that there were people going through the dumpster of the restaurant.
So Mike put up a sign in the window reading: “To the person going through our trash for their next meal, you’re a human being and worth more than a meal from a dumpster. Please come in during operating hours for a couple of slices of hot pizza and a cup of water at no charge. No questions asked.”
Instead of giving away a couple slices, the family started giving away entire pizzas to anyone who asked. Even though Mike was diagnosed with leukemia, he spent the following months facilitating the restaurant’s partnership with a local homeless shelter.
The family would freeze dozens of pizzas for volunteers to pick up and deliver to the shelter. Then, they started working with two more homeless shelters.
Collectively, the family has given away over 142,000 slices of pizza, which is worth about $70,000. Even though Mike passed away from his battle with cancer back in December 2017, Jenny is continuing his mission by giving away more pies and raising money for the free food through GoFundMe.
“He really, really pursued this,” she told TODAY. “It’s a small thing that we can do to bring a big difference in their day and it’s just kept going. You have to come together to help each other out. We just do it because it seems like the right thing to do.”
Pie It Forward By Sharing With Your Friends On Social Media – Photo by the Stevens Family