Healthcare workers are among the groups receiving free pies from Pizza vs. Pandemic.

Slice / Facebook

Pizza vs. Pandemic Boosts Local Pizzerias While Serving First Responders

Slice, a New York-based company that offers online and mobile ordering for pizzerias, is a driving force behind a new initiative that’s helping both independent pizza shops and first responders during the coronavirus crisis.

Pizza vs. Pandemic, also backed by nonprofit organizations Slice Out Hunger and Pizza to the Polls, orders pizzas from local pizza restaurants and donates them for free to healthcare workers, law enforcement, firefighters and EMS workers. According to the Pizza vs. Pandemic web page, it has raised more than $150,000 through nearly 3,000 donors since its launch on March 21.

Related: Why pizzerias should double down on marketing – mindfully – during the coronavirus crisis

“As the pandemic grew in scope and the government issued mandatory restaurant shutdowns, I knew frontline caregivers and small businesses alike would be especially vulnerable,” Slice’s Ilir Sela told Staten Island Live.

“My team also realized that Slice was in a unique position to help both: bring sustenance to those working tirelessly to save lives, while channeling revenue to the local, independent pizzerias our platform serves,” Sela continued. “By partnering with Slice Out Hunger and Pizza to the Polls, we could make this possible through the generous donations of people around the world seeking to help. The response has been overwhelming and continues to grow by the hour.”

Related: Pizzeria owner uses $2,000 anonymous gift to help employees pay bills

Slice Out Hunger combats food insecurity by producing pizza-related events and campaigns nationwide. The nonprofit says it has raised more than $390,000 to fund hunger relief efforts around the U.S. since launching in 2009.

Pizza to the Polls encourages Americans to vote in primaries and general elections by delivering free pizzas to crowded polling sites on election days.