Mason Wartman, owner of Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, is trying to help Philly's homeless with dollar slices and one simple question ...
" ... Can I get one off the wall?"
And the Center City pizza shop owner's efforts to feed the hungry have now gained national attention.
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"They come in for the good pizza and they just happen to help people at the same time," said Ellen DeGeneres as she featured Wartman's $1 slice mission on Tuesday's Ellen Show on NBC10.
NBC10.com first told you about the mission in November. The interior of Rosa’s is covered in neon and even some pizza-shaped post-it notes. Those notes reflect prepaid slices bought by customers who can afford it, for people who can’t. If you're in need, you simply ask to grab a post-it off the wall.
More than 8,500 slices have already been served to homeless people inside the restaurant on 11th Street between Market and Chestnut streets, said Wartman.
Wartman, a native of Plymouth Meeting liked the $1 slice concept — popular in pizzerias in New York City where he spent three years working on Wall Street after graduating from Babson Business College in 2010.
In 2013, he left Wall Street behind and moved back to Philadelphia. That's when he decided to open Rosa's, named after his mother.
"Seeing homeless people come in and benefit from the system we have, it's really awesome," Wartman told Ellen.
Ellen presented Wartman with an "As Seen on Ellen" light-up sign to help drum up even more business for the Center City pizza joint. She also presented Wartman with a check for $10,000 from Shutterfly in hopes of helping the cause even more.
Wartman also offered a challenge to national restaurant chains to adopt similar pay-it-forward feeding initiatives.