Lower Valley families will benefit from friendly competition to collect food
A high-tech video production company with worldwide reach and Harmarville roots is helping to make a brighter Thanksgiving Day for hundreds of Lower Valley families.
NEP, which employs about 800 worldwide, provides mobile video studios, IT services, and more for Sunday and Monday night football, the Olympics and many other events.
Employees and the corporation donated more than 6,000 food items and $6,000 to the Lower Valley Community Food Bank on Friday.
NEP employees learned about the need for donations to area food banks and decided to do something. The food drive started Nov. 1. A friendly competition spurred on contributions after human resources coordinator Ruth Minyon used the firm's newsletter to give an update.
That inspired even more competition, said Lynda Wilkes, NEP's senior vice president of human resources.
The corporation sponsors a golf tournament to help charities, but employees decided to do something for Thanksgiving, too, she said.
On Friday morning, two large vans were loaded with hundreds of cans of food and other items. The corporation enhanced the work by donating $1 for each item — about $6,000, said marketing manager Meredith Knight.
“That will help us get through Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays,” said food bank coordinator Kathy Otterbeck.
Minyon called last week to tell the Lower Valley Community Food Bank about the drive, but Otterbeck didn't quite know what to expect.
All donations are appreciated, but the timing of NEP's drive will really make a difference this year.
“This was very significant — very significant — but there's more of a need due to the times,” Otterbeck said.
Last month's food distribution greatly depleted its shelves.
“We had 197 families for our last distribution. That was a very high amount for us, and for Thanksgiving, we're looking at 225 families. The NEP donation will help us fill the boxes for the families,” said volunteer Esther Blomgren, 84, of Springdale.
Lower Valley churches, Allegheny Valley Association of Churches, Allegheny Valley School District employees, Scouts, the Postal Service and others usually contribute, Otterbeck said.
Yet the need is dramatically increasing, too, she said.
During the 2012 Curtiss-Wright strike, some of the strikers received assistance and some helped the food bank.
“They serve us and we serve them,” Otterbeck said. “And Curtiss-Wright treats us wonderfully.”The food bank sees senior citizens who can't make ends meet, people who work but don't have enough money to feed their families, and unemployed people.
Applicants must prove residency and show proof of income.
In addition to needing contributions, the food bank would welcome more volunteers.
“We especially need men to help with lifting heavy boxes,” Blomgren said.The NEP money will allow the food bank to buy more fresh vegetables and other goods.
Recipients will get vouchers for turkeys.
“This came in just in time,” Blomgren said. “On Monday, we start packing for Thanksgiving.”
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New Kensington slaying victims identified
- 2 dead in New Kensington shooting; woman says male victim her ex-husband
- Freeport Bridge reopens, Route 356 traffic still affected
- Lower Burrell teen uses operatic gift to support Alzheimer’s charity
- West Deer supervisor accused of ethics violation
- Pittsburgh eagle webcam closes down for year
- Allegheny Valley School Board gives raises
- Kiski Township OKs drilling rules
- Freeport Bridge opens, Route 356 traffic still affected
- Leechburg Area postpones decision to lease property for natural gas drilling
- Kiski Valley project won’t be done on time