The concept of “paying it forward” has achieved loads of recognition in recent years and the global pizza community has responded in full force. One of the best examples is the Philadelphia pizzeria Rosa’s, which allows customers to purchase $1 slices for people who need a warm meal. It’s an awesome model that actually started in the world of coffee. Some say the tradition of buying “caffe sospeso,” or suspended coffee, goes back 100 years. When someone experiences good fortune they buy two coffees but only take one, leaving a credit for someone who can’t afford to buy their own. Similar concepts have been used in nearly a dozen different countries, but it all started in Naples, Italy.
Pizzerias in Naples have embraced the caffe sospeso concept, allowing customers to purchase pizzas for those in need. Slice Out Hunger founder Scott Wiener recently visited da Concettina ai Tre Santi, which has been offering pizza sospeso for over three years. Every few months, they bake a batch of pies and distribute them at local soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
In the photo above, 449 represents the number of pizzas paid for by Concettina’s customers. Scott purchased two pizzas on behalf of Slice Out Hunger, whose mission is exactly the same as that of the famous Neapolitan pizzeria. Ask your local pizzeria if they’d be willing to do the same!