Feeding the Frontline has hit $100K!

At OTTO, giving back to our communities has always been a priority. In the past year, we’ve begun two ongoing programs: our monthly specials donations, in which we’ve partnered with Cooking Matters in MA and FEED Kids in ME to donate $1 from every monthly special pizza sold, and Feeding the Frontline, where we’ve turned customer contributions into countless deliveries, feeding thousands of healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.

We are so excited to announce that, as of this month, we’ve reached $100,000 in donations to our Feeding the Frontline program! We’re so grateful to our incredible customers for making this initiative so successful. Both Feeding the Frontline and our monthly donations program would not be possible without your support. We can also say firsthand how appreciative the frontline workers we’ve delivered to have been to benefit from this program.

Because of your generous donations, we’ve been able to make deliveries to over 75 healthcare facilities in Maine and Massachusetts, including:

  • Maine Medical Center
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Tufts Medical Center
  • Maine General Hospital
  • Mercy Hospital
  • Boston Medical Center
  • Fenway Health
  • Beverly Hospital
  • Mid Coast Hospital
  • Mount Auburn Hospital
  • Emerson Hospital

Although we have reached an amazing milestone, we’re not out of the woods yet. If you’re able, please consider making a donation with your next order, so we may continue to support our healthcare heroes and fuel them through their shifts as they work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.

2020: A Year of Giving Back


There’s really no other way to put it; 2020 has been a trying year for all — a year of uncertainty, social upheaval, and unprecedented change in how we live our daily lives. Our friends, families and communities have all been affected in some way. While we could go on and on about the challenges of this year, we’d like to reflect on a few of the positives.

Giving back has always been a part of the OTTO culture. In the past, we’ve donated to countless organizations in our communities through fundraisers, in-kind donations, and of course, pizza. The nature of this year forced us to restructure our entire giving program. With schools closed for much of the year and fundraisers canceled due to gathering restrictions, we had to rethink our entire Good Food, Good Cause initiative.

Of course, we had no plans to stop giving back to our communities. More than ever, our communities needed our help. Fortunately, we were able to partner with two amazing organizations in Maine and Massachusetts that directly align with our mission – to end child hunger and provide better access to food in the communities we do business in, and beyond. Starting in March of 2020, we began donating $1 from every monthly special pie sold to these organizations.

In Massachusetts, we partnered with Cooking Matters MA – an organization which helps connect families with affordable and nutritious meal options. “Cooking Matters is helping end childhood hunger by inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices. [Their] programs teach parents and caregivers with limited food budgets to shop for and cook healthy meals.” $1 of each monthly special pie sold from our Massachusetts locations goes to Cooking Matters MA. This year, we have donated over $7,000 directly to the organization.

In Maine, we’re working with Full Plates Full Potential as one of their FEED Kids partners. Full Plates, Full Potential is an organization dedicated to ending child hunger in Maine. “[Their] work focuses on increasing participation in school breakfast, after school meals, and summer meal programs.” We’ve donated $1 of each monthly special sold from our Maine locations to Full Plates Full Potential since March. This has allowed us to donate over $8,000 directly to the organization.

Another group that’s been severely strained by this pandemic is healthcare workers. They have gone through extraordinary efforts to heal and protect their patients and our communities, working tirelessly around the clock dealing with scenarios that many of us cannot imagine. In April, we decided to get on board with an initiative called Feeding the Frontline – a donation-based framework that supports both restaurants and frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Through purchasing gift cards or meals from participating businesses, those working on the frontlines are provided with nourishment to help fuel them through their shifts.

We had no idea what to expect at the start, but we quickly learned that our customers enthusiastically wanted to be a part of this effort. To date, we’ve received over $40,000 in customer contributions that we’ve turned into countless orders, feeding thousands of healthcare workers and first responders. We are both amazed and extremely humbled by the support we’ve received, and can tell you first hand how appreciative our healthcare heroes have been to benefit from this program. Below are a few of the facilities we’ve made deliveries to as a part of this initiative:

  • Maine Medical Center
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • South Portland Fire Department – First Responders
  • Tufts Medical Center
  • Maine General Hospital
  • Lynnfield Fire Department – First Responders
  • Anna Jacques Hospital
  • Boston Medical Center
  • Beverly Hospital
  • Melrose Wakefield Hospital
  • Franciscan Hospital – Brighton
  • Maine’s Midcoast Hospital
  • Mount Auburn Hospital
  • Emerson Hospital
  • Lahey Hospital & Medical Center

With all of that said, we have to give a big shout out to our customers. The programs and initiatives above would not be possible without your support. While many of us have spent much of the year in relative isolation, the power of community has never been more evident. As we reflect on this difficult year, we are incredibly thankful for our staff, our customers, our partners and our communities. We wish each of you a healthy and happy holiday season, and look forward to seeing your smiling faces in the new year.

OTTO South Boston’s ‘Tips for Kids’ program raises funds for local children’s organizations

Giving back has always been part of OTTO’s DNA since day one. When OTTO Southie (416 W Broadway) opened, the business model was designed to pay above average wages so that all tips could be donated to local youth-focused charities.

As a result, OTTO Southie has raised over $72,000 since March 2020.

Donation recipients include:
* South Boston Community Health Center’s Youth Ambassadors Program (YAP), a South Boston resource for teens to explore the realms of health, art, and community service.

* Condon Community Center, enhancing the quality of life for Boston’s residents by supporting children, youth and families through a wide range of programs and services.

* Edgerley Family Boys and Girls Club of South Boston, helping young people reach their full potential by providing a safe haven filled with hope and opportunity.

OTTO Southie will be featuring a different organization each quarter.

We owe a ton of thanks to the OTTO Southie staff and the generosity of our customers for making these donations possible. We know that, now more than ever, charities and community organizations need additional support to continue offering the services they provide. We’re grateful that OTTO Southie has been in a position to help, and we hope to continue this tradition through 2021 and beyond.

Condon Community Center
Southern Boston Community Health Center’s Young Ambassador Program

Update: Feeding the Frontline Workers

We cannot thank our customers, communities and folks who have supported this initiative enough. This campaign has been a great demonstration on how communities hold each other up and work together during uncertain times.

Through the support of our OTTO community, we’ve provided:

  • Meals to over 50 frontline facilities
  • Thousands of pizzas delivered
  • Over $40,000 in food and beverages
  • Nourishment for hundreds of frontline workers including hospital employees, community health center employees, first responders, and homeless/teen center staff to name a few

If you’re interested in supporting our Feeding the Frontline campaign, click here to contribute. We’ve also added a contribution option to our online ordering pages. You can now order a meal and contribute to Feed the Frontline in the same transaction!

Please note: From time to time, we run into a situation where a hospital or healthcare facility is unable to accept a donation. In those circumstances, we direct food donations to other facilities being impacted by COVID-19, such as homeless shelters and food banks.

Helping OTTO Feed Frontline Workers

When a customer called Penguin Pizza in Boston and ordered pizzas to be delivered to frontline healthcare workers at a nearby hospital, it sparked an idea – we can support local businesses and feed critical frontline workers through one initiative.

Feeding the Frontline is a donation-based framework that supports both restaurants and frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Through purchasing gift cards or meals from participating businesses, those working tirelessly on the frontline are provided with nourishment to help fuel them through their shifts.

On April 4th, we launched a Feeding the Frontline campaign at OTTO. Here’s how it works:

  • Customers can support by contributing at ottoportland.com/shop
  • Our team reaches out to various frontline facilities that are currently accepting donations within our communities
  • Using the contributions from our website, we create orders to fit the specific needs of each facility
  • Deliveries and pickups are coordinated by our team, with the safety of all parties involved as our top priority
  • Contributors receive an email after their donation has been put to work
Resident physicians enjoying one of our first Feed the Frontline orders at BIDMC

We’ve had an extremely positive response from our community, and are happy to say we’ve already fulfilled several orders. The healthcare workers and first responders who have received orders could not be more appreciative.

We cannot thank our contributors enough for helping us make this possible, and promise to continue working hard to feed the frontline workers in our communities.

To contribute, please go to our website or feel free to reach out to us at contactus@ottoportland.com.

OTTO Partners with FEED KIDS and Cooking Matters to combat food insecurity

At OTTO, we strongly believe in investing in our communities, and are proud to support a variety of causes and local organizations. Since we opened our doors in 2009, we’ve worked with over 500 organizations – from hosting fundraisers, to sponsoring teams, and handing out pizza to 5k participants – giving back is an important part of what we do.

As OTTO continues to grow and expand into new communities, we are continuously redefining the ways in which we give back. It is important that we are intentional and impactful with our reach, and that we’re able to align our core values with our giving. As a restaurant, one issue that is extremely important to us is food insecurity. We believe that no child should ever go hungry, and that families, schools, and communities should have the tools and resources to combat food insecurity. We’ve recently partnered with organizations in Maine and Massachusetts which aim to do just that – end child hunger in our communities, and provide families with the resources to connect them to healthy and affordable food options. Starting March 1, OTTO will be donating $1 from every monthly special pizza sold to FEED KIDS in Maine, and to Cooking Matters in Massachusetts.

Full Plates, Full Potential – FEED Kids

Full Plates, Full Potential is an organization dedicated to ending child hunger in Maine. “[Their] work focuses on increasing participation in school breakfast, after school meals, and summer meal programs.” We are proud to say that we are now one of their FEED KIDS Partners, and will be donating $1 of every monthly special pizza sold in Maine to Full Plates, Full Potential.

Cooking Matters MA

Cooking Matters is a campaign developed by Share Our Strength; a nonprofit that aims to end poverty and hunger. More specifically, Cooking Matters aims to end childhood hunger by “inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices. [Their] programs teach parents and caregivers with limited food budgets to shop for and cook healthy meals.” Cooking Matters helps connect low-income families with the tools and resources to prepare healthy food on a budget. OTTO will donate $1 of every monthly special pizza sold in Massachusetts to Cooking Matters.

Follow us to learn more about how we will be working with these two organizations to help end child hunger in our communities.

OTTO to OTTO: 130 Mile Ride to Raise Dough

glv_ride_blogOn Saturday, September 24, the OTTO-sponsored bicycle racing team Green Line Velo will cycle from OTTO’s Comm Ave location in Boston to OTTO’s Munjoy Hill location in Portland to raise money, and awareness, for two vital New England bicycle organizations, The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

In one day.  That’s over 130 miles.  They’re gonna need your help, and a lot of pizza, to power through.

Green Line Velo and OTTO have been working together for a few years now (OTTO has been the final stop on GLV’s Wednesday Night Group Rides for years). The relationship grew out of proximity, shared values, and, well, pizza, bikes, and beer.

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Wednesday Night Group Ride in Brookline

When OTTO became an official sponsor of the team in 2016, the idea of a Boston to Portland ride was sparked.  With a shared vision of improving our communities, the decision was made to raise funds and awareness for MassBike and Bicycle Coalition of Maine, with funds going towards cycling safety, infrastructure initiatives, and the promotion of cycling for fitness, fun, and transportation.

Final Wednesday Night Group Ride & Fundraiser
To kick off the event, we will be holding a fundraiser at our 888 Commonwealth Avenue location in Boston after the final Wednesday Night Group Ride on Wednesday, September 14. A portion of every sale between between 6pm-10pm will be donated to MassBike and Bicycle Coalition of Maine.  Please feel free to come out and celebrate another great season, and wish the team best of luck in their 130-mile journey.

Show Some Love — DONATE!
Anyone willing to make a donation to support cycling initiatives in Maine and Massachusetts can do so at the ride’s fundraising page.

Arrival Party, Giveaways, Food and Drink Specials
On Saturday, September 24, we will be holding an arrival party at our 225 Congress Street location on Munjoy Hill in Portland from 4-7pm.  There will be some great food and drink specials, giveaways, and other goodness.

As an added bonus for our cycling enthusiasts, our usual 10% offer to all Bicycle Benefits members will be extended to Buy One – Get One on all slices during the party. You can learn more about how the program works here. If you haven’t already signed up, the time is now!

Come out, meet the team, and support the cycling community!

fullteam


Green Line Velo is a bicycle racing team based in Boston dedicated to competing at a high level and developing both individual riders and the sport in general.  By focusing first on a high level of camaraderie, they strive to create a team experience that is similar to collegiate cycling and which creates a cohesive group both on the road in races, as well as on training rides.

GLV are dedicated to the love of the bike, the spirit of competition and, more importantly, to the pursuit of fun and enjoyment for all.  They believe that the bicycle provides the means for their members to enact social good. Through a combination of competition and community outreach, they seek to promote that social good both on and off the bike.


The Bicycle Coalition of Maine works to make Maine a better place to bicycle. Founded by a small group of cyclists in 1992, the Bicycle Coalition has grown into one of the most effective bike advocacy groups in the country. 


The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) promotes a bicycle-friendly environment and encourages bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation.