North Hills Community Outreach offering help to people impacted by government shutdown |
Fox Chapel

North Hills Community Outreach offering help to people impacted by government shutdown

Tawnya Panizzi
Jan Closson, left, Pat Brown, Nancy Verbos and Deborah Richert pack donated food at the North Hills Community Outreach Center on Nov. 14, 2018.

A local community group stepped up to help furloughed and unpaid federal employees during the government shutdown.

North Hills Community Outreach will provide emergency food supplies for federal employees who live within one of the nearly 50 northern Allegheny County municipalities served by the nonprofit.

“We have already begun receiving calls from furloughed or unpaid federal employees who are struggling to put food on the table,” said Amber Deemer, coordinator of NHCO’s three food pantries which serve more than 600 families each month. “We have and will continue to serve federal employees with food as long as the shutdown continues.”

Headquartered in Hampton, NHCO serves local families in crisis with more than 20 programs including utility assistance, transportation and tax preparation.

In 2017-18, NHCO helped 3,486 families with more than $1 million in funds, goods and services. The agency operates branch offices in Millvale and Bellevue, and a Free Rides for Shuttles program based in Fox Chapel.

Federal employees furloughed or working without pay are eligible for other NHCO programs based on income guidelines that apply to secondary earners in the home.

Other NHCO programs include free legal consultations for noncriminal matters and sharing projects such as coats, school supplies, spring cleaning items and more.

Executive Director Sharon Wolf said not knowing when the shutdown could end only adds to a family’s stress.

“The stress and implications of missing a paycheck can be extremely difficult and far-reaching,” she said.

“It does not take long for a precarious financial situation to snowball.”

For more, call NHCO’s main office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at 412-487-6316 ext. 1 or visit

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, [email protected] or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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