Can Free Pizza Help Bring This Country Together?

Can Free Pizza Help Bring This Country Together?

One New York pizzeria is serving pies with a side of positivity.

By Maggie Shi

Sure, pizza can be a controversial topic. There's Chicago deep-dish vs. New York thin crust. Eating it utensil-free or resorting to a knife and fork. And don't even get started on the toppings; pepperoni vs. mushrooms vs. extra garlic vs. plain cheese and the whole Iceland pineapple pizza ban, which caused quite an uproar on the Interwebs.

But think about it: Is there a single person you know who doesn't love pizza, in some shape or form? We can all agree that pizza is one of America's most beloved foods.

And now, more than ever, we need our common love of pizza to bring us together. With these divisive times, it might be the only thing that can unite us. That's the thinking behind Albert's Pizza in Long Island, NY, and its "pay it forward" pizza campaign, according to a Fox News article.

Here's how it works: Customers can pre-pay for a pizza, then write a message inside the box addressed to someone who could use some extra cheer. The boxes are hung on the pizzeria's wall until employees identify another customer who fits the message and gives them the free pie. Past recipients have included someone who recently lost a loved one, a military veteran, a teacher, a single mom, and someone overcoming an illness.

Albert's co-owner, Richard Baer, launched the pay-it-forward pizza campaign on January 21, 2017, the day after President Trump's inauguration. “People were so divided. It felt like they wanted to tear each other apart,” he told Fox News. “I was sick of the politics, so I just thought, what can I do to bring people together?”

Baer's only rule is that the messages must be positive and can't mention politics. Too bad Facebook can't adopt that same policy.

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