Dough-slingin’ Jersey boys spark largest pizza donation in history
JERSEY CITY — Two kids whose dough-tossing skills went viral and earned them worldwide fame are the brains behind a campaign Friday that's expected to feed more than 20,000 people countrywide.
More than 250 pizzerias, including 25 in New Jersey, are donating at least 10 pizza pies to the hungry as part of the "Pizza Across America" campaign, which is happening on National Pizza Day.
Nicholas Testa, 11, and Michael Testa, 13 — also known as the Jersey Pizza Boys — have teamed up with ordering platform Slice and pizza-fueled charity Slice Out Hunger to get the job done.
Every participating pizzeria has been connected to a local food bank, soup kitchen or shelter.
The idea was born over the summer when the brothers, along with their father and the head of Slice Out Hunger, distributed slices to the homeless in New York.
"It was amazing," Nicholas said. "We could see all the smiles on their faces. It made me want to cry."
"On the car ride home from that, me and my brother and my dad wondered how cool it would be doing this on a bigger basis," Michael added.
Since a video was posted of the boys playing with pizza dough inside their father's Jersey City pizzeria, Carmine's Pizza Factory, they've been invited to show off their dough-tossing and spinning talents on major morning and late night television programs such as "Good Morning America" and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." The video has garnered more than 10 million views.
"We've got this opportunity, we've got this platform, so we're going to use it for good," said Carmine Testa.
The initial goal of the charity event, he said, was to get about 50 pizzerias on board. But five times that amount have signed up, and the boys hope to feed 100,000 people next year.
"As a father, I'm as proud as I can be," he said.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.