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Local pizza business make special delivery to homeless

Posted at 10:57 PM, Jan 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-02 03:00:02-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The kitchen inside Flo's Pizzeria Ristorante was exceptionally busy on New Year's Day, as employees and volunteers prepared to make pizza to donate to a well known homeless shelter in downtown Grand Rapids.

Mel Trotter Ministries offers men, women, and families a place to stay. The establishment was founded in 1900 and also provides evening meals for guests.

"I had a thought about doing this for a while ," said Alex Garcia, General Manager of Flo's Pizzeria Ristorante located on Plainfield Avenue in Grand Rapids.

Organizers said it was a spur of the moment decision for them. Garcia contacted his manager with the idea and in less than one hour, 80 pizza pies were made and ready for delivery.

"We got the crew together, we loaded up the vans, and got the people to come in. It all ended up working out," said Garcia.

David Uccello owns the business at the helm of this large donation.

"2015 was our biggest and best year that we've ever had at Flo's," said Uccello. "So this was something that in my heart I wanted to say lets give back now. 2016, lets start off and give back."

It wasn't easy for them to prepare that much pizza. The business was also serving it's normal  crowd as they prepared for the 5 p.m. delivery.

"I knew what I needed to do, so we worked as hard as we possibly could to reach that and everybody did amazing. I'm really happy with the outcome," said Garcia.

This was the first delivery of its kind to Mel Trotter Ministries by Flo's Pizza, but it won't be the last.

"I really want to make this a new years tradition. Start the year off by giving back. We do give back throughout the year but not to this gratitude," said Uccello.

Those receiving the hot meal appeared overwhelmingly grateful.

"When we came out of serving the gentleman, we got the standing ovation and the cheer and that really right there made me pause in awe. Every single person was very appreciative" said Garcia. 

Uccello will continue to help the ministry in the future. He said he'll be returning to Mel Trotter Ministries with applications and work on setting up on-site interviews for guests.

Connect with Flo's Pizzeria Ristorante on Facebook and Twitter.