Nodaway Valley Bank and Maryville Pizza Ranch are teaming up to provide 24 families in the Maryville R-II school district with “12 Days of Pizza.”

Each family will be given coupons for one free large pizza or eight pieces of chicken for each of the 12 days over the school district’s Christmas break, which begins December 20.

“Pizza Ranch is a great corporate citizen,” said Nodaway Valley Bank Senior Vice President Brian Schieber following the December 4 announcement. “We are proud to partner with Pizza Ranch to provide holiday cheer for area families.”

“We intend to glorify God by impacting the people in the world and Maryville as our home,” said Kim Baker, Maryville Pizza Ranch owner. “We want to give back and ensure proper nutrition for families during the Christmas break. We are truly blessed to serve our guests in Maryville and impact our community.”

The idea for the effort came from Sean Covel, who produced the hit movie “Napolean Dynamite.” Covel heard of the need for a supplemental food program during the holidays when schools are closed, leaving some students without a dependable meal source. A friend of Covel who teaches second grade mentioned how some students depend on existing programs that provide free and reduced meals.

“Pizza Ranch is a generous community partner,” said Maryville R-II Superintendent Becky Albrecht. “They support our school district and its families in many ways. Their ‘12 Days of Christmas’ initiative is an incredible way to assist those students and families in need throughout the winter break.”

Covel created “12 Days of Pizza” in 2015 with the help of Black Hills Community Bank and the Rapid City Pizza Ranch.

The program was successful and expanded to four cities in the second year, helping 48 families. Now in its fifth year, 70 Pizza Ranch locations, with help from local sponsors, will provide more than 11,000 meals to about 950 families across the Midwest.

“We are proud of our franchisees and the local businesses in our communities for expanding this great grassroots effort again in 2019,” said Perry Krosschell, Pizza Ranch chief vision officer.