Founded in Phoenix in 1974, Spinato’s Pizzeria & Family Kitchen isn’t just one of Arizona’s oldest family-owned pizza companies. It has serious sports cred, too, as the official pizza of both the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury.
But it’s also a small chain with a big conscience. The Spinato family’s Kenneth A. Spinato Foundation, established in 2009, has developed programs and fundraisers to benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the Arizona Children’s Association and Sentinels of Freedom Arizona. In addition, Spinato’s Pizzeria has developed a new program to help people in the area experiencing homelessness—one kindness bag at a time.
Kindness bags are “filled with care essentials for those in need,” according to a recent post on Spinato’s Facebook page. Those essentials include toiletries, snacks and water, according to the City Sun Times. Customers can purchase a kindness bag for $5 at any one of Spinato’s six locations in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Scottsdale and Ahwatukee.
“When you get your bag, keep it with you in your car, then, when you see someone in need, give it to them!” the Spinato’s post on Facebook reads.
All proceeds from the kindness bag sales are donated to St. Vincent De Paul, a nonprofit that works to feed, clothe, house and heal people with nowhere else to turn, including those experiencing homelessness, uninsured patients and people coping with food insecurity.
Additionally, on September 25, Spinato’s will take over the kitchen at St. Vincent De Paul and make dinnertime pizza for the shelter’s guests as a special treat.
St. Vincent De Paul has experienced a sharp increase in demand for food assistance at the various community shelters it supports in the region.
“In our dining rooms alone, we’re prepping more than 7,000 meals each day, which is 2,500 more than we were serving just a few months ago,” Danielle McMahon, associate chief operations officer at St. Vincent de Paul, told the City Sun Times.
Jaime Spinato, director of community outreach for Spinato’s Pizzeria, plans to leverage her family’s pizza power to help. “We wanted to do something meaningful and give our guests a chance to really make a difference through a small, compassionate act of kindness,” she said. “We also hope to increase awareness of the critical work St. Vincent’s is doing in our community while raising much needed funds for their programs.”
Meanwhile, Spinato’s has been having a little fun with its social media fans, too. On September 11, the company announced the School Picture Day Contest, inviting followers to submit their old school photos for a chance to win a $50 Spinato’s gift certificate. Anyone can enter by submitting a school day pic from the past via DM, but they also have to follow Spinato’s on Facebook, like the contest announcement post and “tag a friend who rocked school picture day.”
Pies on the Spinato’s menu include the Wizard of Za Pizza, featuring an artichoke dip created by a local pizza-and-beer influencer, plus pesto cream, spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella and the company’s secret spice blend. Another unusual favorite is the Courtside Classic Pizza, described as a collaboration with the mascots for the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury. It’s topped with hot sopressata, pickled jalapeños, red onions, mozz and that same secret spice blend.