The coronavirus has completely changed daily life across the country, including western Pennsylvania. With many workers laid off or furloughed, some families in our region struggle to afford mortgage payments, food, or other necessities of daily life. Pittsburgh’s nonprofits have responded. Despite the coronavirus risk every volunteer faces, selfless locals work hard every day to ensure everyone in Allegheny County and the surrounding communities have sufficient access to food, masks, and more.
Here are six of our favorite highlights so far:
1. More than 1,000 Families Fed at PPG Paints Arena
In this inspiring group effort, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, and members of local unions distributed frozen food and boxes of non-perishables to more than 1,300 vehicles that drove by PPG Paints Arena.
2. Food Distribution Systems Remain Strong
412 Food Rescue is experienced at delivering fresh food and produce to people in need, and the nonprofit has teamed up with many local organizations to continue its mission of feeding Pittsburgh. In one partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, the two organizations expanded the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ meal program to distribute within Northview Heights, Allegheny Dwellings, and Glen Hazel.
3. Allegheny County Police Department Makes a Difference
In the beginning of April, the Allegheny County Police Department worked with the Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club (a brotherhood of law enforcement officers and emergency volunteers), Saddle-Up Fund, Pasquale’s Pizza, and Tyler Mountain Spring Water to distribute 340 pizzas in Wilmerding, PA. Locals lined up in their vehicles while police officers and volunteers handed them fresh pizzas.
4. Allegheny County Helps Locals Access Free Food and Resources
Allegheny County created an interactive map to inform the community on where they can access free food during the COVID-19 outbreak. The map helps users sort by the demographics each donation site serves, including seniors, students, young children, and other groups. For those who want to give back, the map also includes locations with volunteering opportunities.
5. Organizations Create and Donate Masks
With the mask shortage sweeping across the country, people have put themselves at risk for the coronavirus simply by walking outside in some communities. For health professionals, grocery store workers, and others who come in close contact with people, the risk is even greater. Some local businesses have risen to the occasion, converting their facilities to create masks. One example is Abram’s Nation, a North Hills-based manufacturer of supplies for special needs families. The PA Student Conservation Association even stopped in to help! Day Owl, a local backpack manufacturer, has dedicated some of their resources to making masks during the pandemic.
Between losing jobs and the threat of the virus spreading inside grocery stores, local families have relied heavily on food banks. Many of these food banks have responded by developing ways to continue serving their communities without risking health. When Beaver County’s Faith Restorations saw the number of families visiting each day rise from 150 to 250, they switched to curbside pickups so they could continue distributing food without the risk of spreading the disease.
At Dugan & Associates, we’re thrilled to see this sort of selfless volunteering in the Pittsburgh region during the outbreak. If you’d like to learn more about our community engagement or our legal work, contact us.