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Collier County pizza place gives away free pies Easter Sunday

A restaurant owner in Collier County usually closes his two locations on Easter Sunday. This year he said he wanted to stay open and make people happy.

Both New York Pizza & Pasta locations started handing out free pizza at noon Sunday, and lines began to form 30 minutes ahead of serving time this weekend.

“We’ve been prepping dough since yesterday, sauce, dough, cheese,” said John Maffei, the restaurant owner. “And we started this morning at 10 o’clock.”

This Easter, combined with the coronavirus pandemic, proved to be an extraordinary circumstance.

“People are in need right now,” Maffei said. “People are out of work, so we gotta help out.”

This year, New York Pizza & Pasta decided to feed the community, giving away free pizza to anyone who pulled up.

“The pizza provides for our family and allows us to have lunch and allows us to enjoy this time on Easter together,” Cassidy Owen said.

The restaurant hopes to give away more than 1,000 pizzas at both of its locations. So everyone got as many pies as they needed to feed their families.

This is the very first time the restaurant has ever done something like this. Maffei said it’s the least they can do to help his community in need.

New York Pizza & Pasta is also offering free delivery or pickup from its locations. It’s also selling groceries and other essential items.

“It’s a good feeling,” Maffei said. “I wanna make everybody happy.”

Reporter:Andryanna Sheppard
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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