Non-Profit, DHL and UNO(R) Partner to Host World’s Largest Pizza Party for U.S. Troops
CHICAGO, May 22 /PRNewswire/ — This Memorial Day weekend, Pizzas 4 Patriots, a non-profit organization, is kicking off Operation Pizza Surge, teaming up with DHL, the world’s leading global express delivery and logistics company, and Uno Chicago Grill(R), the inventor of Chicago’s original deep-dish pizza, to dish out more than 25,000 pizzas to U.S. service men and women throughout Iraq and Afghanistan in time for July 4, 2009.
This record-breaking event was conceived by Ret. Master Sergeant Mark Evans of Elk Grove Village, IL. In 2008, Evans’ 15-year-old son Kent asked if there was a way to deliver Chicago-style pizzas to service men and women stationed throughout Iraq in time for Independence Day Celebrations. The original idea was to send 300 pizzas, but as word spread throughout the country, that number grew to more than 2,000. The response was bigger than anyone had imagined. So much so that Evans managed to ship another 2,000 pizzas out for this year’s Super Bowl.
Now Evans has a unique new challenge. Operation Pizza Surge will be the World’s Largest Pizza Party (according to the Guinness Book of World Records). To pull it off, Evans has once again teamed up with DHL to entirely fill a donated cargo jet with as many as 28,000 deep-dish pizzas purchased at a dramatically reduced price from UNO(R), which is celebrating 65 years since inventing the deep-dish pizza.
Thousands of pizzas packaged in temperature-controlled containers will be picked up at the UNO facility in Brockton, MA in late June, and loaded onto trucks. The shipment will fly from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York directly to the Middle East, with delivery to forward operating bases in time for July 4 celebrations.
“As a retired member of the military, I appreciate what it means to receive such a special care package like this, and I thank UNO and DHL for bringing reminders of home to our U.S. troops stationed thousands of miles away,” said Evans. “The reactions we have received from families, friends of the military, and the troops themselves about this initiative have been heartwarming.”
DHL was the first international air express carrier to provide service to Iraq and Afghanistan following the lifting of sanctions and now operates the most extensive logistics service into these countries.
“As the specialists in international shipping, DHL is honored to leverage its global network and transport this shipment to lift the spirits of our service men and women based in the Middle East,” said Adrian Watts, Managing Director U.S. Government Sales and Support for DHL Express.
“UNO is honored to be part of Operation Pizza Surge,” said Frank Guidara, CEO, Uno Chicago Grill, and Vietnam Veteran. “We have tried for years, without success, to send pizzas to our service men and women overseas. This partnership with MSgt Evans and Pizzas 4 Patriots will finally allow us to accomplish that, and we are excited and proud.”
About Pizzas 4 Patriots:
Pizzas 4 Patriots is a non-profit organization with the mission of making a positive difference in the lives of our service men and women. We proudly support those patriots presently serving, as well as our wounded Veterans. It is our goal to provide our Armed Forces with these special gifts from home. We have been fortunate to receive donations, ranging from financial to products and services, from individuals, families, corporations, and other organizations, all wanting to show appreciation for the sacrifice of our brave troops. Our goal is to bring a little bit of home to the troops, and show them that they are supported by the country and residents who enjoy the freedoms that they provide for us.
For more information on our programs, please visit: www.Pizzas4Patriots.com.
Based in Boston, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation includes more than 200 company-owned and franchised full-service Uno Chicago Grill units located in 29 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. The company also operates a fast casual concept called Uno Due Go(R), a quick serve concept called Uno Express(R), and a consumer foods division which supplies airlines, movie theaters, hotels, airports, travel plazas, schools and supermarkets with both frozen and refrigerated private-label foods and branded Uno products. For more information, visit www.unos.com.
DHL is the global market leader in the logistics industry and “The Logistics company for the world.” DHL commits its expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and 310,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting climate protection, disaster management and education.