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Gift to North Hills Community Outreach helps fill food pantry shelves

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

A North Hills area grocery store is helping to feed the hungry in the Lower Valley.

North Hills Community Outreach got a post-holiday boost in the form of a $3,500 grant from Bottom Dollar.

The money will be used to stock the shelves at the NHCO's two food pantries, which are used by residents across the region, including Sharpsburg, Aspinwall, Blawnox and Etna.

“We are so thankful for this gift,” said Fay Morgan, executive director of NHCO.

“Thousands of struggling families in northern Allegheny County need a safety net.”

Founded in 1987, NHCO helps the needy with services that range from the food banks to utility assistance, back-to-school supplies and educational programs, to employment help and senior citizen safety checks.

The Allison Park-based group provided outreach and support services to more than 6,000 families in 2012 and provided grocery assistance to more than 1,400 families.

Locally, there are offices at Lighthouse Pointe at Chapel Harbor in O'Hara and also in nearby Millvale.

Food Lion, with 1,100 supermarkets mostly in 10 southeastern and mid Atlantic states, operates in this region through its Bottom Dollar discount grocery store in North Hills.

Morgan said she is thankful to have neighbors such as Bottom Dollar as “part of our organization of People Helping People.”

The group's food pantries rely largely on donations from residents and social groups. Morgan said the economy has forced an increased number of people to use the pantry.

Donations of staples such as soup, cereal and peanut butter are always welcome, she said.

“The gift will allow NHCO to purchase necessities when the shelves are empty, especially after the holidays and into spring and summer when donations are often low,” said Jennifer Kissel, NHCO spokesperson.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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