A non-profit group said that it sent 21,000 pizzas to members of the U.S. military for the Super Bowl, passing its goal of 20,000 pies.
Pizza 4 Patriots, a 501(c)3 registered non-profit based in Illinois, has been sending pizzas to military service members abroad for the last five years.
For Super Bowl 2013, the group’s goal was to send 20,000 pizzas to service members in the Middle East.
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Mark Evans, the retired Air Force master sergeant who started the organization, says he is still calculating how much money was raised through online and mailed donations, plus donated food and materials. For example, the pizzas required about 10,000 pounds of dry ice, at $1 a pound.
Private carrier DHL Express donated the shipping services. Many of the pizzas were air-dropped to service members in the field. The shipping company said it has worked with Pizza 4 Patriots to send more than 122,000 pizzas to U.S. military personnel overseas since 2008.
“We get pizzas to soldiers for under $10 when you can’t get a pizza to your house for that amount,” said Evans, who now works for AT&T.
Evans said he has already heard stories about service members who appreciated receiving pizzas for the Super Bowl on Sunday, though he hasn’t heard whether his 25-year old daughter, an Air Force pilot in Afghanistan, was able to enjoy the pizza.
“Hopefully she received some,” he said. ”It’s a very fluid situation in a combat zone.”
Many of the pizzas were delivered during the week leading up to the game.
Evans said his friend’s son, who is in a Marine unit in Afghanistan, had to fetch that group’s air-dropped pizzas from a nearby canal.
“He said he wasn’t sure it was the pizzas,” Evans said with a laugh. “But he said he dragged the pallet onto the shore and the pizzas were great.”
Evans’ next goal is to collect enough money and supplies to deliver enough pizzas on July 4, Independence Day, to feed all the military service members in the Middle East.