Poughkeepsie Pizza Shop Helps Soup Kitchen Keep Its Doors Open

TJ's Pizza owner Sam Dalia donated 12 pies and three trays of baked ziti when volunteer cooks at the Lunch Box fell ill on the same day.

When a local soup kitchen found itself short-staffed with no one to cook meals for the hungry last week, Sam Dalia, owner of TJ’s Pizza in Poughkeepsie, New York, stepped in to save the day.

According to MidHudson News, the Lunch Box, which provides hot lunches and dinners for people in need, was going to have to close down its kitchen on a Tuesday morning after its two volunteer cooks fell ill and couldn’t come in to work. Another local nonprofit, the John Flowers Foundation, heard about the Lunch Box’s problem and turned to TJ’s Pizza for help early that morning—and Dalia was more than happy to oblige.

Dalia donated 12 pizzas and three trays of baked ziti, which arrived at 12:30 p.m. “We don’t do this for the attention,” Dalia told MidHudson News. “We’ve all been in need at one time—we’re just glad to help out.”

Poughkeepsie nonprofit Dutchess Outreach operates the Lunch Box as well as a food pantry and a mobile market that distributes farm-fresh fruits and vegetables to anyone in need. “Sam and his family helped a substantial number of people Tuesday,” said Tara Whalen, Dutchess Outreach’s associate director. “What they did for the less fortunate is nothing short of incredible.”

TJ’s Pizza is a family-owned and -operated restaurant that has been open since 1971.