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8,500 People Pay-It-Forward in Pizza for the Homeless

The restaurant feeds 30 to 40 homeless people per day.

Rosa's Post-Its wall.
Rosa's Post-Its wall.
Rosa's Fresh Pizza/Facebook

It may be chilly in the Northeastern U.S., but the hearts of customers at a Philadelphia pizza shop have stayed incredibly warm. According to Fox News, Rosa's Fresh Pizza has hit an insane pay-it-forward pizza record. Over the past nine months, the restaurant has given away 8,500 slices of pizza and fed 30 to 40 people homeless people every day.

NPR writes that the dollar-slice pizzeria is "adorned with Post-it notes" containing inspiring messages from customers who paid $1 extra so that a homeless member of the community could also get a slice.

Over the past nine months, the restaurant has given away 8,500 slices of pizza and fed 30 to 40 people homeless people every day.

Owner Mason Wartman explains that the pay-it-forward pizza program began last year when a customer came in asking if he could buy a slice for a homeless person. "I said, 'Sure.' I took his dollar and ran out and got some Post-it notes and put one up to signify that a slice was purchased," notes Wartman. Soon a phenomenon was born.

The owner tells NPR that the customer who started it all was "inspired by a practice in Italy" called "suspended coffee" where customers purchase a cup for a stranger. It's a practice that has been adopted by customers of many Starbucks locations across the country, with pay-it-forward chains stretching well into the thousands. Even Chick-fil-A got into the action: An outlet in Tampa, Florida once started a pay-it-forward chain that lasted for 38 cars.

Based on the success of the pizza program, Rosa's has started a pay-it-forward apparel program where customers can purchases a Rosa's hoodie and in return donate a hoodie to someone in need. Check out the news story below:

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