OZAUKEE COUNTY -- Easter is just around the corner -- and one local pizza company is helping families prepare. Palermo’s Pizza is holding their 12th annual Easter Baskets for the Hungry food distribution this week.
For many families, a big ham is an Easter staple. But ham isn't cheap.
"You're slicing it up and serving it, and as a mother, or as anyone who's providing food, it just feels good," said Laurie Fallucca, Palermo Chief Creative Officer.
"It's an expensive item, so for us to be able to provide them and have those donated is tremendous," said Julie Hoover, Family Sharing Executive Director.
That's why over the course of five days, Palermo’s employees will reach out to 1,000 families across four counties, supplying 1,000 Easter hams and 48,000 pizza meals to its neighbors in need.
"I think every family is really deserving of a hot meal on Easter," said Fallucca.
In Ozaukee County at Family Sharing, the executive director says many people who live here don't realize how large the need is.
"Rent is expensive, childcare, gas, getting your car repaired, is all more expensive in a county like ours. There are a lot of people who are struggling just to make ends meet," said Hoover.
Something like a ham on Easter is just one way to help the children impacted.
"If they go back to school, they've had the same meal that their friends have had for Easter. They don't feel different just because their family is struggling, and that's important," said Hoover.
Since its launch in 2008, Easter Baskets for the Hungry has provided 615,000 pounds of food to Milwaukee-area families.
Additionally, Palermo’s corporate food truck will be at the five distribution sites, providing basket recipients, workers and volunteers with fresh-from-the-oven Pizza.
In 2018, Palermo’s donated 2.5 million pizza meals.