Reno Carlitti (MSB ’19) opted for a different spring break than many of his peers, spending part of his vacation founding a philanthropic project, Pizza 4 Others. The project aims to help feed people currently experiencing homelessness in Washington, D.C.
The independent organization Pizza 4 Others aims to deliver 38 pizzas every week for one year to people living in homelessness in D.C. The pizzas will be provided by Manny & Olga’s Pizza restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue, and distributed through the Father McKenna Food Center.
Carlitti said he thought of the initiative after hearing about a promotional offer at Manny & Olga’s.
“I heard about this deal with Manny & Olga’s, where if you buy 1,000 pizzas, they will give you 1,000 pizzas for free. I thought this was a great idea. I figured we could raise the money and then give the 2,000 pizzas away,” Carlitti said.
According to Carlitti, Pizza 4 Others, which is sponsored by the Zeta Psi fraternity, has been a collaborative effort among Georgetown students.
“Pizza 4 Others is a bunch of D.C. college students coming together to donate 2,000 pizzas to the hungry in D.C. over the next year,” Carlitti said.
Carlitti created a GoFundMe page to raise the $16,500 needed to finance his project. The project has raised $3,015 from 48 people since its launch March 23, mainly from students affiliated with social fraternity Zeta Psi.
Ned Hogan, director of development and volunteer coordinator at the Father McKenna Food Center, said Carlitti’s efforts to help feed the hungry have the capacity to make a real difference in homeless people’s lives.
“Reno Carlitti has created a unique partnership between a pizza restaurant and feeding the hungry,” Hogan said. “We applaud his efforts to help us to serve those who have so little. We definitely are rooting for him to succeed in this effort to mobilize the Georgetown community to support So Others May Eat and the Father McKenna Center.”
Andrew Ward (COL ’19), a member of Pizza 4 Others, said Carlitti’s determination propelled the initiative.
“Reno and I serve on executive board for the fraternity, and he brought this idea and we talk every week about philanthropy and nothing ever happens,” Ward said. “And then Reno came in and had this entire plan completely fleshed out immediately and was like it’s $16,000. Initially I laughed because I didn’t think it was possible, but then realized how much work and how much thought had gone into it and I decided that it was something I wanted to help with and try to accomplish.”
Carlitti said Zeta Psi’s sponsorship has been vital to the project.
“The International Zeta Psi Headquarters has given me so much help by giving me their network and providing ideas on how to get some publicity.” Carlitti said.
Reaching out to other student organizations is crucial to reaching their goal, according to Ward.
“With any sort of movement or drive, the more the merrier,” Ward said. “The more people you have, the easier it is to accomplish a goal. So at Georgetown, everyone has their own personal network, which is why I think it was critical to reach out to some groups on campus to see if they could blast through their listserv.”
Carlitti said Pizza 4 Others is an important initiative to create stronger ties between Georgetown students and the greater D.C. community.
“This would be a great step forward to say that the Georgetown community cares about its neighborhood, cares about the people of D.C., and is willing to help and come together and unify over this donation.”
Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.