(CHICAGO) — A pizza mission to U.S. military service members in Afghanistan has made the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest pizza delivery.
The non-profit, Pizza 4 Patriots, a 501(c)3 registered non-profit based in Illinois, has been sending pizzas to military service members abroad for the last five years.
Last summer, Pizza 4 Patriots and shipping company DHL organized their biggest delivery yet: 30,000 pizzas to service members in Kandahar, Bagram and Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in celebration of Independence Day. The delivery began June 21, 2012. DHL donated its services and loaded the pizza shipments at a service center in Chicago.
Ian Clough, CEO of DHL Express U.S., said he was grateful to Pizza 4 Patriots and proud of DHL’s “dedicated employees.”
“Feedback from U.S. troops who received the care packages has been heartwarming as they truly appreciate the recognition for their valuable service,” Clough said in a statement.
Mark Evans, the retired Air Force master sergeant who started Pizza 4 Patriots, said he has been working with Guinness since last summer for the record. After the necessary affidavits from witnesses were on record, Guinness officially recognized the delivery in April and notified Evans this month.
Evans said he is “completely pleased and overwhelmed.”
“The world record is secondary to taking care of our soldiers and sending them a slice of home,” Evans continued.
The 12-inch pizzas were made by Great Kitchens, Inc. in Illinois with some donated ingredients or funded by various donors.
Earlier this year, Pizza 4 Patriots sent 21,000 pizzas to military members serving abroad during the Super Bowl. Next up, Evans is raising enough money to send 25,000 pizzas to troops across the world for this Independence Day.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Steve Almasy, CNN
Marisa Russell, CNN
Barbara Starr, CNN