The owners and employees at one Manhattan pizza shop are making pies like their lives depended on it — because they know that other people's lives probably do.
All of the pizza getting made at Sauce Pizzeria — as many as 400 per day — are going straight to hospitals to feed health care workers pulling 14- or even 18-hour shifts as they remain on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.
Many of those nurses, doctors, and other medical staffers are so swamped helping patients every single day, many don't have a moment to spare to grab something to eat.
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"They’re running around from room to room the hospitals are packed, and if we’re not sending food, a lot of them are not eating," said Adam Elzer, who owns the slice joint on East 13th Street.
Elzer got the idea to feed health care workers after a nurse friend told him she didn’t have time to eat lunch one day. Now Sauce is delivering from their East Village location to 40 different hospitals in all five boroughs — even as far north as Westchester.
And all for free.
"Basically anywhere that we get a note from a nurse or a doctor telling us that they’re in need, we figure out a way to get them on the schedule and then we deliver to that hospital," Elzer said.
The inspirational giving doesn't stop there. When Elzer's landlord heard what he was doing at the pizza shop, he jumped into help — freezing rent payments for the next three months.
"I saw what Adam was doing on social media honestly and when we noticed what he was doing it was very clear that we needed to help him," said Ben Kraus of A&E Real Estate Management. The group also donated more than $20,000 to help Adam get more pizzas to more medical workers.
"We set up Adam with logistics to be able to deliver en mass to hospitals all over New York City," Krause said.
Elzer and Krause said they are hoping to inspire other businesses and landlords around the city and the country to do the same — a national effort to feed the people who are desperately trying to save us all.
"It made it a lot easier for us to keep doing what we’re doing and to feel really good about that," Elzer said. “Pizza makes people happy. That’s what this started from, that we wanted to give them some reason to smile when it’s kinda hard to smile with what they’re currently doing.”