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Hops and Barleys, Roberto’s will give away subs and pizza Saturday

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Hops and Barleys and Roberto’s Pizza in Middletown are teaming up to give away free ham-and-cheese subs and slices of pizza from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The items will be given away at Hops and Barleys at 9 E. Main St., just off the square of Main and Union streets. 

“Hops will continue this for the foreseeable future as a way to ease the burden for families that have been hit hard by these events or families that have just fallen on hard times for whatever reasons,” Hops and Barleys co-owner Steve Wian told the Press & Journal.

This past Saturday Hops and Barleys gave away peanut butter sandwiches and Italian subs to residents in need.

The business remained open for takeout and between that and making the free food, Wian said he didn’t have enough time for an accurate count of how much was given away.

“I suspect somewhere around 35 to 40 total,” he said. “I would like to double that this week with Roberto’s help.”

“We don’t know what else we can (do) to help so we are trying to provide an essential service and staying community committed seemed like the best avenue,” Wian continued. “Times are not what they used to be, so we will continue this as long as we are barred from social gathering. People continue to have income issues.”

Roberto’s owner Dave Kitner said he and Wian have had a good working relationship for years, despite being competitors in the restaurant business.

Wian had been providing free food to support kids in the Middletown area affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Kitner has been reaching out to help elderly folks, working to provide free food from Roberto’s through area clergy.

“Why not collaborate it” by working together to give away free food to anyone in need on the Saturday afternoons, Kitner said.

Kitner said Roberto’s donated food for a fundraiser held by a parent-teacher organization in Middletown, as the PTO can’t do its own fundraisers right now.

Roberto’s also delivered pizzas the other day to the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

In addition, his staff at Roberto’s came up with the idea to provide free food to the people working at Karns just down the street. They did it once last week and are thinking of doing it again this week.

Kitner urges anyone having a tough time feeding themselves or their family right now message him privately via Facebook, or call Roberto’s at 717-944-1298.

“Keep giving back to the community and doing our part,” Kitner said. “It’s been a wild ride, I’ll tell you what. This is crazy.”