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Slices For Seniors


The Treasure Coast is known for its beautiful scenery, sandy beaches, art scene, and the wide variety of activities and events it hosts throughout the year. But something that the Treasure Coast is also known for but doesn’t boast about is its strong sense of community, particularly in challenging times.

When the twin sisters of Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne came through in 2004, the community rallied, coming to the aid of those who had lost their homes or livelihoods and helping to rebuild an even better community. When the bottom fell out of the housing market in 2008 and the years thereafter, the community again stepped up to help those who were struggling. And in 2020, when circumstances far beyond anyone’s control impacted the entire world, the Treasure Coast community once again has found itself jumping into action to help. Simple actions of individuals, businesses, and groups have helped provide food, shelter, and a variety of services for members of the community who find themselves struggling.

One example of the abundant generosity of the Treasure Coast community members can be found just across the street from Indian River State College’s Main Campus location at Big Apple Pizza and Pasta, a legendary local pizzeria owned and operated by Scott Van Duzer and his family since 1991. Long known for his humanitarian efforts in St. Lucie County through the Van Duzer Foundation, a nonprofit foundation created to help families and individuals in crisis in St. Lucie County, in April, Big Apple Pizza implemented a Slices for Seniors program. Community members make donations of amounts from $20 up to Big Apple Pizza and Pasta, which uses the funds to deliver pizza dinners to senior citizens in St. Lucie County. The program started very small, with just a few individuals who wanted to do something to help provide a meal and moment of community to senior citizens who might be feeling isolated during a difficult time, and word of mouth helped the program spread quickly. Within just a week of implementation, over 600 seniors had received pizza deliveries through the Slices for Seniors program.

One of the biggest supporters of the program is St. Lucie County dermatologist and much-beloved philanthropist, Dr. Shamsher Singh. Known far and wide for his generosity and warm heart, when Dr. Singh’s medical practice had to be put on hold due to current events in the world, the dermatologist decided the best way to make it through a difficult time was by helping others. Loving the idea of Slices for Seniors, he stopped in at Big Apple Pizza, made a generous donation to help fund the program, donned a patriotic mask, and became a delivery driver, helping to deliver delicious meals and a moment of cheer to seniors who might be feeling isolated in St. Lucie County.

“After being politely told by my office manager that my services were not required in the office,” chuckles Dr. Singh, “it was back to delivering pizzas.” Dr. Singh has delighted in bringing smiles (and pizza) to many St. Lucie County seniors. When he’s not delivering Slices for Seniors and practicing dermatology full-time, Dr. Singh is a strong supporter of the Southeast Florida Honor Flight program, which flies World War II, Korean, and Vietnam War veterans on an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D. C., to visit the memorials constructed in their honor and experience a day filled with gratitude for their service and the respect they have most-assuredly earned. Since flights have been put on hold for the time being, Dr. Singh felt that supporting other local efforts to help seniors was a mission he could enthusiastically embrace. Whenever Dr. Singh shows up at the door of a senior, he delivers a pizza, a Slices for Seniors T-shirt, a smile, and a little bit of hope for brighter days to come.

Van Duzer says that the Slices for Seniors program is one of the most rewarding things he’s ever been involved with. “Maybe it’s because of my mom, Patsy,” Van Duzer says, referencing his beloved mother who passed away a few years ago. “I love that this simple gesture brings so much joy. Whenever we deliver a pizza and a Slices for Seniors T-shirt to a senior, we also deliver a handmade card created by local schoolchildren who are now learning from home and probably feeling a little isolated themselves. This program makes us all feel connected.”

If you’re interested in donating to the Slices for Seniors program, please contact Van Duzer at Big Apple Pizza and Pasta in Fort Pierce by phone at 772.466-8303. It’s a small, but effective way each of us can help brighten someone else’s day, and it’s one more reason the Treasure Coast is known for its generosity and sense of community, in addition to all the other jewels and treasures for which the area is known.



Contact: Scott Van Duzer   


Phone Number: 772.528.3467

Photos Courtesy of Big Apple Pizza & Pasta