Fortunately, suicide awareness is growing. Unfortunately, it usually comes after celebrity tragedies or some doofus filming in a “suicide forest.” However, there’s also more uplifting ways that awareness can be raised for it.
The heartbreaking story of a young MOD Pizza customer taking their own life inspired the restaurant to join the JED Foundation and create an “Impact Pizza.”
Today, we’re launching our very first “Impact Pizza” — Isaac. 🧡🍕 In partnership with @jedfoundation, this special pizza will shine a light on #mentalhealth and teen #suicideprevention. Through this partnership, MOD will donate $50,000 to support JED programs & connect our customers to mental health resources in their communities. Get the full story behind Isaac at modpizza.com/Isaac or the link in our Isaac IG Story highlight above. 🧡🍕 If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available: Text START to 741-741, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit jedfoundation.org/help
The pizza was created to bring awareness and help prevent teen suicide, while also bringing mental health issues to light.
The Isaac Pizza is named after a teen who was a regular at an Illinois MOD Pizza, and saw MOD as his “happy place.”
Isaac Pedley had bouts of depression after he and his family moved from Michigan to Illinois, but MOD became his second home, sometimes eating there four to five times a week and becoming good friends with the employees.
On April 10, 2017, Isaac skipped school. Still keeping open communication with his mother throughout the day, everything seemed normal. He apologized for not going to school due to inclement weather and said he was still working on his homework.
When Isaac’s mother arrived home, she looked for him all over the house, seeing his light still on and homework half-done. She eventually found him in the garage, but unfortunately, he had taken his life.
The young high schooler who made tons of friends, was on both the wrestling and gymnastics team, and seemingly lived the average teen life, still suffered from mental illness.
Isaac was laid to rest in a MOD shirt, and after his funeral service, friends and family members ate at the local MOD Pizza, as they felt it was what Isaac would have wanted.
MOD’s corporate offices became aware of all this after Isaac’s mother wrote them a letter, describing how much the restaurant meant to her and her son before his passing.
In the letter she wrote, “MOD was Isaac’s happy place. A place where he felt loved and accepted, without question.”
She later added, “To be able to lend Isaac’s name to help educate others has been incredibly healing for our family.”
The pizza itself is topped with an olive oil base, garlic, ricotta cheese, red onions, roasted red tomatoes, and topped off with Balsamic vinaigrette and fresh basil.
The pizza became a menu item at the Naperville, Illinois MOD, and they even had a photo of Isaac in remembrance.
From now until October 1, the pizza will be available at every one of MOD’s 350 locations across the U.S., as MOD is also donating $50,000 to the JED Foundation, in order to help raise awareness of suicide.
According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of 10-35.
The JED Foundation is a nonprofit organization aimed to “empower teens and young adults with the skills and support to grow into healthy, thriving adults.”
If you, or someone you know is suffering with depression, or has had thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text START to 741-741.