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Ridgewood's A Mano Launches Pizza Donation Program

A Neapolitan pizza chef demonstrates how to make a traditional pie at A Mano in Ridgewood.
A Neapolitan pizza chef demonstrates how to make a traditional pie at A Mano in Ridgewood. Photo Credit: Facebook

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- Buy a pizza in Ridgewood for $6 and help feed those in the area who are less fortunate.

Neapolitan trattoria A Mano of Ridgewood has introduced a pizza program to benefit local charities. In the Pizza in Sospeso initiative, customers can purchase a full-size margherita pizza at half price ($6) that goes toward one pie for the needy, the restaurant announced in a release.

Each time 25 pizzas are purchased, A Mano will deliver the Pizzas in Sospeso to a different regional charity.

The drive was inspired by a long-standing tradition of donating coffee in the cafes of Naples, Italy. A café sospeso, Italian for “suspended coffee,” is a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an anonymous act of charity. A patron who experienced good luck would order a sospeso, paying for two coffees but only consuming one. A needy person would then be served a complimentary café sospeso.

“At A Mano, we are all about the traditions of Naples. Bringing the idea of sospeso to pizza is a great way to give back to the community and help the needy. No one should have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from. We’re trying to do our part to lessen that pressure and bring smiles to people’s faces during the holiday season,” said head pizzaiolo Michele D’Amelio.

The program, which debuted Dec. 9, has already surpassed A Mano’s expectations. “In one day our customers purchased the first 25 pizzas. We keep a tally on a board in the restaurant so everyone can see how many pizzas need to be bought to reach the next goal of 25. It’s exciting and such a gratifying feeling to know we can help care for people in need,” D’Amelio said.

The initial group of charitable pizza recipients included: Youth Consultation Service in Hackensack, Eva’s Village in Paterson, Center for Food Action in Mahwah and Family Promise of Bergen County.

The drive will run through the first week of the new year, however, if the program’s success continues, the end date will be extended indefinitely.

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