Ben Berman, an MBA student at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia, has given away more than 500 pizzas since the start of the pandemic by lowering them from his second-story apartment window in Philadelphia—and he’s parlayed that into fundraising for worthy causes in the process.
As the Washington Post reported, the 28-year-old’s concept for what’s become Good Pizza PHL came out of having to cancel a pizza party at his apartment last spring, when the pandemic was beginning to adversely affect people.
Berman lowered 16 handmade pizzas on a long string, one by one, to his friends waiting below on the street.
“I had 40 feet of string I’d ordered from Amazon, so I made a little pulley, bagged them up and gave them to everyone that way,” Berman told the Post. “I came up with the idea because I didn’t think it was a good idea to eat 16 pizzas all by myself.”
He’s since refined the process—you can see it at work in this Instagram post from the account he created to advertise Good Pizza.
“It felt like food security and homelessness needed even a bigger boost this year,” Berman told Today, pointing to Philadelphia-based charities like Philabundance, Project Home and Share Food Program as doing good work.
Berman makes and drops the pizzas for free, requesting that people receiving a pizza make a donation to charities that help people who are hungry or homeless, like the three he specifically identified.
Though it’s not quite a free-for-all, it’s still an impressive weekly giveaway he conducts, where he holds a lottery online to select 20 winners to pick up pizzas below his one-bedroom apartment window every Sunday.
And his efforts have raised a reported $32,000 as of the start of January—and still counting.