CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today partnered with leaders from DHL Express and Pizzas 4 Patriots to send 10,000 Chicago-style deep dish pizzas to servicemembers just in time for Super Bowl Sunday. Pizzas will be delivered to troops in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Oman.
Super Bowl Sunday is traditionally America’s biggest day of the year for eating pizza. Since our troops serving overseas are unable to enjoy the game at home, the not-for-profit organization Pizzas 4 Patriots works to make sure a slice of home comes to them. The idea was originally conceived by former Master Sgt. Mark Evans of Elk Grove Village as a way to show appreciation and bring reminders of home to servicemembers overseas. This is the second year that Governor Quinn has participated in the special send-off event.
“Many of our nation’s sons and daughters have sacrificed the comforts of home to join the front lines,” Governor Quinn said. “It’s up to us to make sure they are not forgotten on Super Bowl Sunday or any day of the year. I’m proud to partner with DHL and Pizzas 4 Patriots to help honor servicemembers by giving them a small reminder of home – the best pizza the country has to offer, from right here in Illinois.”
The DHL Express team will be packing and loading all 10,000 ready-to-bake, Chicago-style pizzas from Illinois-based Great Kitchens into DHL cargo jets and shipping them. Once in the Middle East, the pizza delivery will be distributed to Camp Bastion, Baghram Airbase and Kandahar Airfield and then on to various Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Oman. DHL Express will provide door-to-door, final delivery for the distribution, working closely with the U.S. military to ensure the pizzas are delivered fresh and ready to eat. The pizzas are enough to feed every soldier stationed in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Oman.
“Eating a hot slice of pizza while watching the Super Bowl is an American tradition, so it’s very special to us that we help make this delivery happen and bring troops a slice of home,” CEO of DHL Express U.S. Ian Clough said. “We’re delighted to leverage our international expertise and global network to transport this wonderful care package overseas.”
Since 2008, Pizzas 4 Patriots has worked with DHL Express to send more than 132,000 pizzas in support of U.S. military personnel overseas, and in 2013 Pizzas 4 Patriots made a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest pizza party, with over 30,000 pizzas. For more information about Pizzas 4 Patriots, please visit Pizzas4Patriots.com.
Governor Quinn has made commitment to veterans, servicemembers and their families a top priority throughout his career. He led the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program that helps veterans transition back to their daily lives and the Welcome Home Heroes program which helps support Illinois servicemembers seeking home ownership. As Lieutenant Governor, Quinn championed the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund Act, which established a fund to provide grants to families of Illinois National Guard members and Illinois residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who are called to active duty. These grants help servicemembers and their families with the costs of food, housing, utilities and other expenses when the wage-earner has left civilian employment for active military duty. The fund has distributed more than $15.1 million to 29,625 Illinois military families to assist with the financial burden at home.
For more information about these and other programs for our veterans, visit OperationHomefront.org or call the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs at (217) 782-6641 or (312) 814-2460.