Mmmm, pizza!

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– New Haven’s 19th Annual Pizza Fest kicked off Thursday, where many were able to not only enjoy delicious pizza but help members of the community, all during lunch time.

Several people came out to the New Haven Green Thursday afternoon on the first day of Pizza Fest, despite the soggy weather conditions.  smiles Mmmm, pizza!

“We have had good ticket sales, surprisingly with the weather,” said Denice Calabrese, Pizza Fest volunteer.

From cheese to pepperoni to vegetables, there was a variety of pizzas being served up so folks who came by the tents could sample a little bit of everything.

And there was plenty to go around. Five hundred pizzas were donated by eight pizzerias.

Those generous sponsors were Abate Apizza and Seafood in New Haven and Branford; Da Legna in New Haven; Lo Monaco’s in Branford; Marco Pizzeria & Restaurant in Branford and Derby; Modern Apizza in New Haven; P&M Fine Foods & Pizzeria in Branford and New Haven; Pizza Haven II in New Haven; and Tolli’s Apizza & Restaurant in East Haven.

And it wasn’t just lunch on everyone’s minds but also helping others.

Photos: Pizza Fest

Pizza Fest benefited The Connection, which is a nonprofit agency that has been a leader in creating community based treatment programs since 1972.

“The Connection is a fabulous organization that helps people from all around the state that are suffering from substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness and people coming out of jail who need to get reestablished in the community,” said Maureen Carney, The Connection Board Member.

pizza plate Their programs have helped  more than 6,000  people each month with family support, behavioral health and community justice services.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful organization with a really high success rate,” said Carney.

“This is the only organization that’s allowed to do this on the Green,” said Roberta Thornton, The Connection Board Member. “We help downtown New Haven.”

Pizza Fest also happens right during the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, adding listening to great music to the list of reasons to come out.

If you missed it Thursday, Pizza Fest will happen again Friday, June 20th, as well as next Thursday and Friday, June 26-27, from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Pizza is only $3 a slice; Italian ice is $2 and beverages (soda and water) are $1 and it’s all for a good cause.

customers Mmmm, pizza!

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