Thursday, June 9 was our annual Slice Out Hunger fundraiser in which we collect donations from NYC’s best pizzerias and sell slices for $1 each. All the money goes to feed the city’s homeless and hungry, with this year’s proceeds going to City Harvest. The event started in 2008 as a simple launch party for Scott’s Pizza Tours and has since blossomed into an animal all its own. This year we raised $5,000 for New York’s homeless with the help of 20 amazing pizzerias, a dozen amazing raffle prize donors, 25+ volunteers, and about 700 hungry pizza lovers.
Pizza started to arrive around 5:30, as I didn’t want to risk running low on slices mid-event. Last year we blew through 40 pies in 20 minutes and people had to wait in the rain before 25 backup pies arrived. This year’s pie count was at 182 the afternoon of the event, so my only fear was that we wouldn’t have enough people to eat all the pizza. I was totally wrong.
Excited pizza lovers waiting in line. (Photo by Liz Migliore)
Doors were scheduled to open at 6:30PM but the line started by 5:15 and the sky was threatening to burst open, so we started selling slice tickets to people waiting outside by 6:10 in an effort to assist the flow once doors opened. All pies were in position, plate distributors were at the ready, pizza servers were armed with spatulas – so we opened the doors at 6:20.
Amity Hall was completely mobbed within minutes. We quickly reached capacity for the building so the bouncer had to stop letting folks in until people left. Then the sky opened up and things got crazier. Our volunteer crew had the pizza under control so I ran outside to let everyone in line know why they weren’t moving. While we weren’t able to get anybody else inside, we did bring some pizza to the line so people could at least get a slice in their bellies.
Happy dude inside; me in freakout mode outside. (photos by Rosemary Zuppardo).
Enough people eventually left and the bar and we were able to get more pizza lovers inside. The scene was pretty crazy but everyone was certainly having a blast. We started calling names for raffle prizes and have away TONS of cool pizza stuff. There were pizza making classes, pizza t-shirts, bags of flour, travel vouchers from GAP Adventures, pizza tours in NYC and Chicago, pizza books, etc. It was incredible. We even raffled off some great photographs of our featured pizzerias, courtesy of the NY Pizza Project.
Our pizza donations were incredible this year and we are eternally grateful to all 20 pizzerias for being part of the event:Lombardi’s, NY Pizza Suprema, Luzzo’s, Pizza Box, Keste, John’s of Bleecker St, Artichoke, Slice, Joe’s Pizza, Famous Original Ray’s, 900 Degrees, Two Boots, Famous Ben’s, Difara, Tosca, Pizza Roma, Grimaldi’s, Arturo’s, Rizzo’s and Bleecker Street Pizza. By the end of the night, we had eaten over 1,500 slices and raffled off 30 prizes. The resulting $5,000 will help City Harvest rescue 21,121 pounds of food around NYC.
As much pizza as we had, it all disappeared into the bellies of hungry pizza lovers within one hour. Plans are already in motion to make next year’s event even bigger and better. To volunteer, please contact me at sliceouthunger[at]gmail[dot]com.
THANKS TO ALL WHO ATTENDED AND WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR!
Here’s a smattering of photos from Slice Out Hunger 2011…
Until the dough runs out… (photo by Adam Kuban)