‘Pizza makes people happy’: LISTEN to Adam Elzer on feeding NYC’s COVID first-responders
(ATLANTA/NEW YORK, 1 April 2020)
Even though Frank McGurrin wrote “Now is the time for good men to come to the aid of their country” as filler text in 1918 he was actually foreshadowing of Adam Elzer and Perry Rahbar.
Elzer and Rahbar founded Everyday Hospitality in 2015 without a clue they’d be crucial-relief heroes in a global pandemic, as New York City has become America’s Coronavirus epicenter. But Elzer tells me he’s doing what he can to help in a difficult situation for all: “The energy of complaining about it didn’t feel right to me.” Listen:
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Elzer initially threw up a link on Sauce Pizza’s website to buy pies directly for nurses and doctors, but overwhelming response on social media spurred him to set up a separate GoFundMe.
“Sauce Pizzeria Loves NYC Hospitals” has raised just over $24,000 in 4 days as of this writing; 100% of funds go toward feeding front-line workers. Elzer told me a separate effort to support his bartenders and wait staff—60% of which he had to put on unpaid leave—will be coming later. He also mentioned that once his restaurants get back up and running laid-off staffers can all have their positions back.
‘There are 62 hospitals in New York City; we’re delivering to at least 35 of them’
Because of his repeated exposure to front-line workers Elzer told me he’s sequestered away from Ford, his six-year-old son. He likened that sacrifice to those front-line doctors and nurses who are also forced to live away from their families. But right now he’s solely focused on bringing relief to first-responders and the rest will get sorted in due time. Listen:
“What’s going on and right now it’s pretty scary,” he said. “I’d rather not focus on the fear element but rather on how we’ll get through this. The way to do that is to open up your heart and be more supportive then you would have been before. To be a good friend. To spread more love versus anything else. That will be the most helpful way through.” 🍕
Rob Birdsong contributed to this post
Will Pollock is a perpetually crabby New York City escapee based in Midtown Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist, media analyst and author of two books (award-wining Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way.
In 2001, Will earned his Masters from The Medill School of Journalism, graduating with highest honors from the magazine sequence. As permanent member of Journalism’s National Honors Society, he’s been active in monitoring, writing and blogging about media and journalism ever since he graduated.
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