Pizza with Purpose

September 2018 View more

Photo courtesy MOD Pizza

Through October, MOD Pizza restaurants across the country will be selling the Isaac pizza in memory of a local resident, Isaac Pedley, who died in 2017. It will be the chain’s first Impact pizza launched in partnership with the Jed Foundation (JED), a leading nonprofit that works to protect the emotional health of teens in its aim to prevent suicide in young adults.

Isaac was a 15-year-old student at Naperville North when he took his life on April 10, 2017, following a battle with depression and anxiety. But that was not the side of Isaac that the staff at MOD Pizza in downtown Naperville saw.

General manager Eric Kowalski says the teen would come to the restaurant almost every day, engaging with employees, who dubbed him the “Mayor of MOD.”

“The news of his death was terrible because he was always so happy-go-lucky with us,” Kowalski says. After the tragedy, the store raised $4,000 for suicide prevention, but in June the company decided to take the campaign nationwide. Through October, MOD plans to use its platform to help connect employees, customers, and communities to JED. They’ll also be donating at least $50,000 to support JED’s programs.

“Everyone’s been touched by suicide in one way or another, and MOD is amazing to use this as a platform to get people to talk about it,” Kowalski says. “People have to know it’s OK not to be OK. We are allowed to have feelings. It’s OK to reach out for help—in fact, it’s a sign of strength.”

If you or anyone you know needs to talk, text “HELLO” to 741741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Learn more about mental health issues and what to do if you’re worried about yourself or a friend at