- RT @sevenly: We just got back from a @fmsc_org mobile meal packing event. What do you think... don't we look great in hairnets? http://t.co… 16 hours ago
- Thanks so much for packing meals with us today @sevenly! #youallrock 18 hours ago
- The meals you packed shipped to ______. Find out where: http://t.co/dqYRioW7XI 21 hours ago
- RT @ArmanSheffey: Always awesome fun @fmsc_org the office and the family coming together was perfect!! http://t.co/ExWweYBAHL 1 day ago
- Hosting a MobilePack event is a great way to bring your community together. Check it out: http://t.co/aE2QEr1aiI 1 day ago
FMSC on Flickr
Pitza 42: Meal for Meal
Two years ago, Austin Samuelson had a simple idea while sitting in church: “What if there were a restaurant that donated a meal to a hungry child for every meal sold?” Today, Austin and his wife Ashton run a restaurant in Conway, Arkansas called Pitza 42 that has fed more than 169,000 kids through donations to FMSC.
The story of Pitza 42 starts a few years earlier than that day in church. After graduating from college and getting married, Austin and Ashton moved to West L.A. As a healthy and affordable meal, the new couple often made pizzas on pita bread. Getting involved with World Vision and hearing Rich Stearns (World Vision’s CEO) speak about “using your unique gifts” sparked the beginning of a journey for the couple. “We wanted to use the gifts God gave us to help make a difference–we just had no idea what that would mean,” Ashton told us.
After moving back home to Arkansas, the idea came to Austin that Sunday. Ashton said, “With no restaurant experience, connections, or capital, we had one choice – to trust.” Pitza 42 was born: healthy, quick-baking pizzas on pita bread and each meal would literally be “for two.” In the following months, the financing, location, and ingredients aligned with ease.
When Austin and Ashton began searching for a mission partner, they heard the name “Feed My Starving Children” twice in one week. The entrepreneurs researched FMSC, and soon flew to Minnesota to pack meals and chat about their idea for a restaurant with CEO Mark Crea. Austin and Ashton were sold – as was Mark!
In the 18 months since opening, Pitza 42 has funded over 169,000 meals and held 2 MobilePack events in Conway to pack meals with FMSC. Their most recent MobilePack event was this past weekend (February 22-23) and volunteers from the community packed 272,160 meals. Next summer, Pitza 42 staff plan to visit FMSC partner Children’s Cup in Swaziland to meet the kids where their MobilePack event’s meals are being shipped.
Word of mouth, clever social media marketing, and fun promotions have all helped Pitza 42 thrive and grow, but one thing has been the biggest key to success: their core mission. Helping end childhood hunger is more than a marketing strategy; it is a belief held by the founders and employees at Pitza 42. Photos of children from around the globe hang on the restaurant walls, employees watch FMSC videos as part of staff meetings, and staff members took a trip to Nicaragua (and soon Swaziland) to see the impact. A simple idea has turned into a mission being lived out.
What if there were hundreds of restaurants around the world that donated a meal to a hungry child for every meal sold?