Volunteer join in to make sure no one goes hungry on Thanksgiving Day
A joint effort by Folino's Restaurant, Tom's Diner, South Side Rotary Club, Hot Metal Faith Community, and Zone 3 police officers wants to ensure that no resident of South Side and the surrounding communities goes without Thanksgiving dinner.
Free, warm meals will be delivered to apartments, high rises, and houses in Zone 3 and Zone 6 communities by city police officers.
Those communities include: Carrick, Mt. Washington, Beltzhoover, Allentown, Arlington, Bon Air, Duquesne Heights, Knoxville, Mt. Oliver, Overbrook, Banksville, Beechview, Brookline, Char-tiers City, Crafton Heights, East Carnegie, Elliott, Esplen, Fairywood, Oakwood, Ridgemont, Sheraden, West End, Westwood, and Windgap.
Anyone who knows of someone who is in need of a Thanksgiving meal should call 412-381-1541, or Officer Christine Luffey at 412-488-8425. There are no income or age requirements.
"We want to reach out to as many people as possible," said Michelle Knight, of the South Side Rotary.
Wednesday, Nov. 24, is the last day calls will be taken for meals.
Last year, the effort fed 1,200 people a complete Thanksgiving dinner. So far this year, there have been 920 requests.
Volunteers plan to gather at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving, and begin delivering the dinners immediately afterwards.
"They will be warm when they arrive. People can put them in the refrigerator and heat them up for dinner," said Officer Luffey.
She is one of about eight police officers who, in uniform and driving police and non-police vehicles, will be delivering meals. Volunteers are also need to prepare and package food.
The tradition was begun when Penny and Tony Folino, of Folino's Restaurant and Tom's Diner, learned that Meals on Wheels does not provide its services on Thanksgiving.
To make a financial donation, make checks payable to District 7300 Foundation, and mail to: Feed the Hungry, c/o Michelle Knight, 1916 Larkins Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15203.
Donations of items and/or money have been made by Breadworks, Chevrolet USA, and the McCandless and Green Tree Rotary clubs.
"It's a very rewarding project, and it's our opportunity to really get out there and show the public that we truly do care," said Officer Luffey.