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Pizza on Scott's Pizza Tour | © Dana deLaski
Pizza on Scott's Pizza Tour | © Dana deLaski
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Inside NYC's Biggest Charity Pizza Party

Picture of Dana deLaski
Updated: 21 September 2016
It’s impossible to deny that New York loves its pizza. In a city so big and diverse, it’s one of the few things that binds everyone together. Everyone has experienced that late night $1 slice, that perfect pie shared amongst friends, or that quick afternoon snack. And while it’s hard to find someone in New York who doesn’t love pizza, perhaps no one loves it as much as Scott Wiener. Scott is the owner of Scott’s Pizza Tours (a company that takes guests on pizza tours all over New York City), the holder of a Guinness World Record for having the largest collection of pizza boxes, and an all around ‘professional pizza lover’.

Among the many pizza-related things that he does, each year he hosts Slice Out Hunger: a pizza party for charity that’s coming to NYC this year on October 5th. The event consists of bringing over 50 pizzerias from around New York City under one roof, each of which sells their pizza for $1 a slice. Around 1,200 people will attend the event, so if you’re looking to go, you should arrive as early as possible. Once you’re inside you can sample pizza from as many pizzerias as you want, and the money all goes to City Harvest and Food Bank For New York City.

Scott Wiener with some of his pizza boxes l © Dana deLaski
Scott Wiener with some of his pizza boxes l | © Dana deLaski

Of course we wanted to know everything about this pizza party for charity, so we caught up with Scott to ask him a few questions.

How did the idea come about for Slice Out Hunger?

In running the pizza tour, I got to know lots of pizzeria owners. When I told them I wanted to celebrate the first anniversary of the company, they all offered to give me free pizza. I decided that rather than give away pizza to my friends, it would be better to sell it for $1 per slice and give the proceeds to hunger relief. We just continued the exact same idea from there.

What’s the process like for getting all these pizzerias under one roof?

It’s a huge challenge on many levels. Communication isn’t super easy when you’re dealing with 56 pizzerias so I have to be very clear and send lots of reminders. It’s hard running a small pizzeria and I’m very conscious of that, but just because they’re busy doesn’t mean pizzeria owners don’t want to participate.

A slice of pizza on Scott's Pizza Tour | © Dana deLaski
A slice of pizza on Scott’s Pizza Tour | © Dana deLaski

How has the event grown over the years? And how to do you hope it continues to grow in the future?

The event gets bigger every year! That first year we raised a couple hundred dollars and this year we’re probably going to break the $40,000 mark.

What’s been the biggest challenge in making this event happen?

Every single person who is involved with the event is a volunteer, so it’s a huge job getting them all together. We have an incredible volunteer coordinator, CC Webster, and she handles everybody. On my end, I have to wrangle pizzerias and figure out which ones need me to send a volunteer to pick up the pizza. Uber gave us some free rides so we’ll use those to grab pizza from areas we can’t easily get to via foot or subway. Then there’s traffic control, which is a big deal because we have over 1,000 people show up every year. We figured out some good ways to make it work but are ALWAYS tweaking and improving.

Ending an awesome @sliceouthunger night with a @greenboxny dropoff and a slice @twobootspizza on Ave A! #pizza4good

A photo posted by Scott's Pizza Tours (@scottspizzatours) on

And what’s the most rewarding part about putting on the event?

First I get to see all the faces of people who LOVE the event and totally get the amazingness of having all these great pizzerias in one room together. Then there’s the big fat check we get to hand off to local hunger relief organizations. This year’s event will impact about 250,000 people. That’s a big deal.