Thousands of troops are filtering in and out of Capitol Hill after the deadly Jan. 6 riot, during the impeachment process, and in advance of the inauguration. As many of them have taken to napping in the hallowed halls of Congress, journalists, staffers and lawmakers alike have been beside themselves about the perilously perceived state of Guard members’ arrangements when on duty.
Democrats have called for cots, and local citizens launched donation efforts. But unfortunately, according to National Guard Bureau, those acts of kindness simply cannot abide.
“While we appreciate the many offers and people who care about our soldiers and airmen, we are not logistically able to accept donations of any kind,” reads a release. “...thank you for caring about your citizen-soldiers and airmen.”
However, this rule doesn’t seem to apply to food — namely pizza.
Local favorite We, The Pizza, famed for its double pepperoni, has set up a matching donation system for its profoundly delicious pies, after some unnamed Congress members ordered in for them.
“Two members of congress called to place orders and we thought we should match it when we found out it was for the national guards,” Micheline Mendelsohn Luhn, deputy CEO for the restaurant group that owns We, The Pizza, told Military Times, “Then we realized they could use more so we donated them.”
Eater reported that the pizza shop accounted for 100 pizzas Wednesday and planned to send another 150 Thursday throughout the day.
“We had customers and people calling to help us donate, so we decided to match a pie for every donation,” Luhn added. “We reduced the price to $12 a pie and every time someone orders, we match it.”
DCists in the neighborhood are thrilled about the effort as well.
“Our neighborhood has a Facebook group, so I asked for advice and someone alerted me of We, The Pizza’s initiative to feed the troops,” Greg Alexander, a Capitol Hill resident, told Military Times. “They are a great community business so I gladly donated.”
He and others put together an online effort to raise funds for deliveriers of food from We, The Pizza and a handful of other local joints.
“As a Capitol Hill resident, the riot at the Capitol was traumatic for all of us,” he added. “When I saw the images of National Guard sleeping on the hard floors of the Capitol to keep us safe, it warmed my heart. I wanted to do something to support the troops while also supporting local businesses who are suffering during these times.”
At the time of this writing, Military Times reached out to the National Guard Bureau for comment, however the organization politely declined.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.