Catholic Charities Host "Pizza for a Smile" Charity Kickoff to Serve Those in Need

Catholic Charities Host "Pizza for a Smile" Charity Kickoff to Serve Those in Need

CiaoDC Chats with Catholic Charities President, Jim Malloy about 'Pizza for A Smile' Charity Initiative; Italy and his preference of pizza.

More About the Event:

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington and The People of Hope will kick off a “Pizza for a Smile” distribution on Tuesday, May 21, beginning a months long initiative that will provide freshly made pizzas from a local restaurant to individuals served by the agency’s social services.

In this first distribution, 125 individual margherita pizzas donated by the Georgetown restaurant Il Canale through The People of Hope will be given out to those attending Catholic Charities’ St. Maria’s Meals service along G Street NW.

Through October, a total of 1,000 pizzas will be given out to participants in Catholic Charities’ social service programs.

What: “Pizza for a Smile” kickoff

When: 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

Where: Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Washington headquarters, 924 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20001.

Who: Brief remarks will be made by:

  • Jim Malloy, president and CEO, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington;

  • Luciano Lamonarca, president and CEO of The People of Hope, who will be joined by his son, 8-year-old Sebastian Lamonarca, who was the inspiration for “Pizza for a Smile;”

  • Chris Bianco, James Beard Award-winning chef, headliner of the “Chef Table: Pizza” Netflix series and owner of Pizzeria Bianco in Arizona and California;

  • Joe Farruggio, chef and owner of the Georgetown restaurant Il Canale.

Immediately following remarks, individual pizzas will be distributed to clients of St. Maria’s Meals.

Background: Pizza, a favorite of many and source of protein, is being added to Catholic Charities’ assistance as the Washington region continues to feel the effects of food insecurity. A 2023 hunger report found that about one-third of the population experienced food insecurity.

Many of the vulnerable people served by Catholic Charities’ 47 programs experience food insecurity. Believing that no one should go hungry, the agency helps ease the pain of hunger through seven separate food assistance programs.

“Pizza for a Smile,” created by the nonprofit People of Hope, promotes kindness and smiles by honoring the dignity of those who are hungry. Launched in Los Angeles in November 2023, the initiative provides individual pizzas made fresh by local restaurants to those facing hunger through collaborations with community organizations.

Media: Speakers are available for interviews. For additional information, contact Kate Kennedy of Catholic Charities DC’s communications department at or 202-772-4312.

About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington

Catholic Charities DC is the largest independent social services agency in the Metropolitan D.C. area. As the charitable arm of the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic Charities DC invests in communities by providing critical services to hundreds of thousands of people in need throughout the District of Columbia and Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland. The organization works tirelessly to give help that empowers and hope that lasts to those it serves regardless of background, belief or circumstance. For more information, visit and follow us on social media @CCADW.

About Pizza for a Smile

“Pizza for a Smile” brings communities together in a spirit of sharing and joy, with pizza becoming a symbol of not just a type of comfort food to nourish the body but also a means to lift one’s spirit in togetherness and smile. The initiative is supported by participating local pizzerias and restaurant owners. For more information, visit

and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @pizzaforasmile.

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