Once school is out, many children don't have access to a healthy meal. An pizzeria is stepping up to change that for kids in Ilion.

Any child in Ilion can stop by Franco's Pizzeria Monday through Friday from 11am - 1pm and they'll be served a slice of pizza, a bag of chips, and a soda or juice box - all for free.

Danny Mendez, the owner of Franco's Pizzeria, says it's his own childhood that encouraged him to start the "No Kids Left Hungry" initiative. "I was one of those kids that didn't have a lot growing up and people helped us along the way. I look at it like this: if I could change one kid's outlook on life and make a difference in theirs maybe one day they will grow up and do the same for someone in need and maybe change their lives for the better."

"We didn't always have tons of food or money to do things all the time. But I did have great parents that tried their hardest to make sure we always had what we needed and always help any where they were needed."

Credit: Franco's Pizza Facebook
Credit: Franco's Pizza Facebook

Danny says there could be more to come from Franco's, "This isn't the only I have a lot of stuff up my sleeve that we will be rolling out soon all to benefit the kids in the community!"

The response from the community has been overwhelming, prompting an emotional Facebook post from Danny. "When I started this journey a few years ago my goal wasn't to get rich it was to be able to make sure no kid goes hungry and to be able to be a positive person in the community and with all of your support it's allowing me to achieve that goal to lengths I couldn't imagine! Thank you thank you thank you! I can't say it enough and there is nothing special about me I'm not a superhero so when you are down or it seems like nothing can go right keep pushing you can do anything as long as you don't give up!"

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