The ‘Crust’ Of The Matter: Tampa Pizzerias Help Combat COVID-19

Many pizza restaurants in the area are helping their community with deals on pizza and delivery charges SAM’S NEW YORK PIZZA

The outbreak of COVID-19 has closed several facilities, including schools and day cares, leaving some families searching for a way to feed their children.

To help reduce this concern, several pizza restaurants throughout the Tampa Bay area have set-up deals and specials to help their neighbors.

Three Brothers

Until Friday, Mar. 27, Three Brothers New York Pizza will be giving away 2 free slices for any child who comes in during the afternoon.

“We do a lot of community work throughout the year,” owner Sean Marsiglia says. “This is another way for us to give back to our awesome community.”

The pizza company, which also has locations in both Palm Harbor and Odessa, hopes bigger chains will embrace this cause and help their valued customers.

“We’re hoping this starts a movement where the restaurants will give back just as much as their community gives to them,” Marsiglia says. “Maybe the bigger chains will adapt.”

Marsiglia says this turbulent period leads to at least one positive thing: unity.

“It’s amazing to see everyone come together during this difficult time when people are in need,” Marsiglia said. “Race, religion, politics, don’t mean anything.”

Sam’s New York Pizza

From now until schools reopen, Sam’s New York Pizza in New Port Richey and Land O’Lakes will be offering school aged children a free slice of pizza for lunch.

“Something as simple as a slice of pizza can really make a difference for a child in need.” Owner, Eric Bush, said.

For manager Thomas DeLuca Jr., this is chance to help his neighborhood and those families in need.

“It’s more important than ever for us to come together as a community and help each other every chance we get,” DeLuca said. “We are in a position where we can have a positive impact in the lives of the families around us and we are happy to do so. It’s the right thing to do.”

Hungry Howie’s: Plant City

Hungry Howie’s in Plant City will be offering a free junior pizza for children, free delivery for senior 55+ and free pizzas for local business struggling during the outbreak.

“The whole idea came to me just by watching the news and being touched by families who were living paycheck to paycheck.” Owner/operator, Ali Sobh said.

Sobh took to social media in order to get his message of charity out.

@HungryHowiesPC sent this Instagram post out on Mar. 17 with a caption detailing owner Ali Soph’s mission for his community HUNGRY HOWIES PLANT CITY

“My biggest area of concern is getting people back on their feet…I may be a single business owner but with a town who loves and supports me as much as they do, it’s the least I can do,” Soph said.

Soph feels very connected to his city and wants to be a champion for the community.

“I’m here for Plant City…I’m not going anywhere.”

Brick City Eatery

In Lutz, Brick City Eatery is offering students K-12 a free kids menu meal with purchase of adult meal, as well as waiving minimum orders for deliveries within a 5-mile radius of the pizzeria.

“I live in the community and it’s only right to give back and support one another during difficult times like this,” says owner/operator, Steve Parisi.

Compassion and charity are a driving force for the restaurant, knowing that this kind of service can really help those in the area.

“During this unprecedented time, we all need to pull together and support each other and be kind,” Parisi says, “I, along with my staff, will do whatever we can to help out.”

Adam Bakst is a full-time journalist, part-time comedy writer and all around decent guy. @AdamBakst_WUSF

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