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Pizzeria, groups box up their gratitude

City, Struthers fire departments given pizza for their efforts

STRUTHERS — For his efforts to take extra precautions while serving on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus, Brian Stellato has received extra free food.

“It’s great to see that we’re appreciated,” the 28-year Struthers firefighter said Wednesday after having received four boxes of pizza from Belleria Pizzeria on Youngstown-Poland Road. “We try to limit the number of (firefighters) in houses, and we limit our patient contact as we can.”

The longtime restaurant recently partnered with United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley to distribute the free food to thank firefighters and other first responders for their service during the pandemic.

Stellato’s fire station on Spring Street and eight other stations — seven in Youngstown and two in Struthers — received four boxes each of pizza Wednesday for their efforts during the crisis, said Ashley Kuhn, United Way’s chief financial officer.

“Belleria is a great partner of our United Way throughout the year. Last week, they reached out to us to help them thank our firefighters,” Bob Hannon, UW’s president, said in a statement. “We want to thank all first responders during this time.”

Stellato said he and fellow firefighters wear masks, goggles and gloves as protective equipment when administering CPR to someone to prevent spreading the virus.

For Frank Frattaroli, owner of the Struthers Belleria, the decision to reach out to the firefighters via free food was a natural way to extend gratitude for their selflessness in protecting their communities — especially with the added risk the coronavirus poses.

“These first responders are out there risking their lives every day, and with everything going on, their jobs are even riskier. We felt we needed to do something,” he said. “The community has been good to us, so we feel we need to give back.”

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