Operation Pizza Surge was planned and executed in time for the July 4th Independence Day holiday in the US to bring a slice of home to US troops stationed in the Middle East. DHL and Uno Chicago Grill joined with Pizzas 4 Patriots to deliver the 28,000 frozen pizzas throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.
Conceived by retired. Master Sergeant Mark Evans of Elk Grove Village, IL, the idea took root when Evans was able to ship over 2,000 pizzas for the 2009 Super Bowl. Evans has once again teamed up with DHL to fill up an entire donated cargo jet with the ready-to-bake, deep-dish pizzas from UNO, which is celebrating sixty-five years since inventing Chicago’s original deep-dish pizza.
“DHL, which flies directly to many of the US bases in the Middle East, has been a wonderful partner since the beginning,” said Evans. “Time and again, DHL has graciously agreed to donate their shipping services to deliver a slice of home to our troops.”
Operation Pizza Surge is the world’s largest pizza party, according to the Guinness World Records. Thousands of pizzas, packaged in temperature-controlled containers, were picked up at UNO’s facility in Brockton, MA and loaded onto trucks. DHL flew the shipment from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York directly to the DHL hub in Bahrain. From there, DHL workedclosely with the US military to ensure the pizzas were delivered fresh to bases throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.
“As a retired member of the military, I appreciate what it means to receive such a special care package like this, and I thank UNO and DHL for bringing reminders of home to our US troops stationed thousands of miles away,” said Evans. “The reactions we have received from families, friends of the military and the troops themselves about this initiative have been heartwarming.”
DHL has been selected by the Department of Defense for service to numerous locations around the globe based on the extensive service capabilities and "first in market" approach provided in support of US servicemen and women. DHL was also the first international air express carrier to provide service to Iraq and Afghanistan, and operates the most extensive logistics service in the Middle East Region.
"UNO is honored to be a part of Operation Pizza Surge," said Frank Guidara, CEO, Uno Chicago Grill, and Vietnam Veteran. "We have tried for years, without success, to send pizzas to our servicemen and women overseas. This partnership with Ret. MSgt Evans, DHL and Pizzas 4 Patriots will finally allow us to accomplish that, and we are excited and proud."Additional information on the final DHL loading arrangements in the U.S. of the pizzas is available through Robert Mintz, DHL Corporate Communications, (425) 736-2667. www.Pizzas4Patriots.com.