The owners of a local pizzeria have taken it upon themselves to feed the thousands of National Guard members stationed in Washington, D.C. ahead of Inauguration Day in what they’re calling “Operation Pizza.” We, The Pizza has sent more than 1,000 pies to the troops and they’re not planning on slowing down.
“We are so honored to serve the National Guard doing the important work of keeping our Capitol safe,” We, The Pizza said in a post on Instagram.
It all started when Republican representative Vicky Hartzler, of Missouri, and Michael Waltz, of Florida, put in a large order of pies from the pizzeria to distribute to the National Guard members.
The soldiers have been photographed sleeping on floors in the Capitol Visitor Center and the Emancipation Hall, in addition to reception areas, cafeterias, hallways, on standby in case an event like the insurrection happened again. Up to 21,000 troops have been sent to D.C. following the storming of the U.S. Capitol, Axios reported.
“We wanted to help, so we matched [the order],” Micheline Mendelsohn, the deputy CEO for the restaurant group that owns the pizzeria, told The Today Show. “Then we realized we weren’t even sending nearly enough.”
That day, they sent about 100 pizzas to the troops. The following day, they sent another 150, with customers ordering even more to add to the restaurant’s batch order. Another 300 were prepared for delivery Friday, KIRO7 reported.
“We had customers and people calling to help us donate, so we decided to match a pie for every donation,” Luhn told Military Times. “We reduced the price to $12 a pie and every time someone orders, we match it.”
We, The Pizza said they intend to continue the donations as long as troops are stationed around the Capitol.
Other restaurants have jumped aboard the trend, with local businesses like District Doughnut vowing to pitch in and setting up their own donation match program.
Officially, however, the National Guard is declining any donations, telling Axios in a statement, “we are not logistically able to accept any donations of any kind,” especially in the wake of others offering to donate cots and more. They also stressed that the troops are on a rotation and have places to sleep at nearby hotels. They are also being supplied with hot meals while on duty and at shift change.