EVESHAM TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — Times may be tough, but some in Evesham Township on Friday night enjoyed free pizza and it was all courtesy of those who serve and protect. It was first come, first serve and Evesham Township residents quickly took advantage of the free pizza provided by the police department.

For those who didn’t make the cut, they still supported their local pizza shops.

The Evesham Township Police Department took an oath to protect and serve and on Friday afternoon, they served the community by the way of free pizza for 400 households.

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“Everybody loves pizza, of course,” Evesham Police Board Mark McKenna said. “So when a nice, fresh hot pizza comes up to your house, it kind of makes their day. A lot of people are struggling right now.”

Sal’s Pizzaworks was just one of 14 pizza shops that decided to come together to donate the pies.

The pies went quickly, but residents are still supporting local businesses.

“The phone lines were really busy. We couldn’t get through with really any of the pizza restaurants in the area,” resident Sharon Sammaritano said. “So I decided just to drive over and order and wait for it here.”

Those who were able to snag a free pizza shared their photos on social media, thanking the police department.

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“What we’re trying to do is just try to give some kind of level of calm to our community,” Evesham Township Police Department Chief Christopher Chew said. “Let them know we’re in this together.”

Chew says he’s hoping the department’s kind gesture will encourage others to pay it forward.

“We’re thinking about you 24/7. We are here for you and we are committed to making Evesham the best community to live in,” Chew said.

Kimberly Davis