North Hills residents respond to call for food donations to help neighbors - North Journal

North Hills residents respond to call for food donations to help neighbors

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 | 4:54 PM

Scores of North Hills residents on Wednesday responded to a call for food donations by dropping off hundreds of pounds of groceries in a single hour at a Hampton church parking lot.

“We put the word out late Monday night that we needed donations to help people in our community, and the response was wonderful,” said Erica Cochran, director of development for North Hills Community Outreach, which organized the drive to replenish its food pantries.

Cochran said the economic impact on families from the mandated shut-down of non-life sustaining businesses is fuel increasing the need for services.

“We’ve been averaging 30 to 40 calls a day from people asking about the eligibility requirements to get food,” Cochran said. “They are worried about the future. You can hear it in their voices.”

From 1 to 2 p.m. , a steady stream of vehicles pulled into the parking lot of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on Ferguson Road to drop off bags, boxes and cases stuffed with food and paper products — including toilet paper.

NHCO’s offices and one of its food pantries is located adjacent to the church.

Food came in so fast that Cochran and NHCO’s Sharing Projects Coordinator Vicki Burstynowicz had to stack the items outside the food pantry entrance to keep the flow of vehicles going.

Jim McCarville said he went grocery shopping after hearing about the food drive on social media.

“Somebody shared an item on Facebook about a need for food so I wanted to do something to help out,” he said as he unloaded a trunk full of groceries.

Cochran said people who missed the March 25 food drive can still arrange to drop items off by calling. Financial contributions to help buy food and assist families with other needs can be made online.

People who need assistance can call NHCO at 412-487-6316 or send an email to

NHCO is scheduled to distribute food on the following days:

• April 2: North Boroughs, 2 to 4 p.m.

• April 7: Allison Park, 5 to 7 p.m.

• April 15: Millvale, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• April 23: North Boroughs 5 to 7 p.m.

• April 28: Allison Park, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.