October is National Pizza Month!

Did you know October is National Pizza Month? Not that anyone needs an excuse to enjoy pizza. It's one of the most popular foods in the world for many reasons. It's easy to make, it's portable, it usually doesn't require utensils to eat it, and it's just yummy! Bread, sauce, cheese, and your choice of toppings—what's not to love?

Turn everyone's love of this versatile and delicious food into a moneymaker for your group with a pizza fundraiser.

The easiest route to go with this is to have a pizza night where maybe you also show a movie or two at your church, school, or wherever your group usually meets. Order several pizzas from a local restaurant, and then charge by the slice.

You may be able to work out a group discount with a pizza place. You can also save some money by picking up the pizzas yourself rather than having them delivered. Contact a few restaurants to see if they can accommodate your group, and give them plenty of notice so they have enough time to make as many pizzas as you need.

Theoretically, you could also do this with frozen pizzas, but anyone can buy a frozen pizza anytime. It's more appetizing to get restaurant-quality pizza.

What's also appetizing, and even more fun, is to host a make-your-own pizza night. Again, you can combine this with a movie night, or just make it a purely social event. To do this, you'll need to reserve or rent a space that has a couple of ovens to bake the pizzas.

You'll also need enough space to lay out all the fixin's, and have several tables set up where everyone can sit and eat. If you find a good space, but don't have or can't afford to rent tables and chairs, make it a pizza picnic and ask everyone to bring a blanket or two to share.

Depending on the toppings you choose to offer, you should be able to find everything pre-cut and ready to go on the pizzas. Check with your local grocery stores or club stores for bulk packaging and prices. No matter what toppings you choose, there are a few basics you'll need:

Crust

The best option for this is to buy boxes of prepared, frozen crusts. It will save you having to make and shape any dough, and will also ensure that all the pizzas are the same size. Try to find a smaller size so every pie is a personal pizza. This will make it easier to bake and serve them, and will allow you to charge per pizza rather than per slice.

Sauce

Most grocery and club stores sell seasoned pizza sauce in large cans or jars. It doesn't need to be refrigerated before it's opened, and it doesn't need to be heated up since the pizzas will be baked. Choose a basic tomato sauce for wider appeal.

If you want to get a little fancier, and to accommodate those who either don't like red sauce, or are allergic to tomatoes, consider offering a white sauce, like Alfredo as well.

Cheese

A pizza is not a pizza without cheese. Again, it shouldn't be difficult to find large bags of shredded mozzarella at grocery and club stores. Choose the store or a generic brand to save money. Be sure to have plenty on hand for those who like extra cheese on their pizzas!

Toppings

Here's where it can get a little tricky. People are sometimes very picky about their pizza toppings. What one person loves on pizza may be a big no-no to someone else. Your best bet is to choose a few basic toppings that will appeal to most people, like pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, and black olives.

If you want to offer more meat options, include ham and sausage. To get a little fancier with the vegetables, offer artichoke hearts or spinach. A lot of people also like pineapple chunks on their pizza.

How many and which toppings you provide is up to your group, and depends on how much you want to spend, and how much space you have to lay everything out.

If you like, you can also hold an international pizza night, and include toppings that are enjoyed in other countries around the world. Just a few ideas:

  • Australia – shrimp, pineapple, barbecue sauce
  • The Netherlands – “double Dutch:” double meat, double cheese, double onion
  • Brazil – green peas
  • France – flambée: bacon, onion, and fresh cream
  • India – pickled ginger, minced mutton, and paneer (a form of cottage cheese)
  • Japan – eel, squid, and mayo jaga (mayonnaise, potato, and bacon)
  • Costa Rica – coconut
  • Pakistan – curry
  • Russian – smoked herring, or a “Moskva:” sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, and onions

Don't forget the beverages, plates, and napkins. And depending on the toppings you offer, you may want to provide breath mints.

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