Many Donate to Help Ease the Burden of Pandemic

Peoples Natural Gas and Edgar Snyder & Associates are donating $100,000 each in COVID-19 aid, and The Heinz Endowments gives millions of dollars in an initial wave of emergency grants.


Between unprecedented layoffs and businesses scaling back or halting operations, many people are left unsure of how they will get their next meal. But individuals, organizations and companies are rising to the challenges of this crisis, from local foundations pledging aid to virtual tip jars to help service workers

Peoples Natural Gas and Edgar Snyder & Associates are joining the ranks of the helpers, and The Heinz Endowments is further aiding the community with its first wave of COVID-19 emergency grants. 

Peoples Natural Gas donating $100,000 to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The donation will help the food bank help others in the community. While many think of donations to food banks as cans of shelf-stable foods, monetary donations go further. Food banks buy food at wholesale prices, allowing them to buy more food than the average shopper. 

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank serves 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, and it has adjusted its services to the changes in need and safety recommendations since the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect the area. It remains dedicated to providing fresh fruits and vegetables, but it has shifted to a drive-up process that allows for proper social distancing while still giving people and families what they need.

“We are proud to come together in support of those organizations that provide assistance in the communities we serve,” says Joe Gregorini, president of Peoples Natural Gas. “We hope that our support can help make a local impact as much as possible for those that need it most.” 

Edgar Snyder & Associates is also donating $100,000 to the Emergency Action Fund and to United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s 2-1-1 helpline. The donations from the law firm will go toward supporting health care systems, improving public health responses, assisting vulnerable populations and helping people meet basic needs.

“This is an unprecedented time,” says attorney Richard Rosenthal, co-managing partner at Edgar Snyder & Associates. “Virtually everyone will be touched in some way by the effects of this pandemic, and it is vital that people’s basic needs are met.”

The Pittsburgh Foundation created the Emergency Action Fund March 16 in response to COVID-19. With seed funding from The Heinz Endowments, The Hillman Family Foundations and the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Emergency Action Fund is issuing grants to aid senior citizen and child care services; fulfill health care needs; provide medical supplies, food and shelter; and assist vulnerable populations. 

United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline is a call center and online resource for everyday needs as well as emergencies, and it has created a COVID-19 Assistance Fund for emergency basic needs. Those living in Pittsburgh must apply to all other available resources before becoming eligible for aid through 2-1-1’s fund, but those in Allegheny, Butler, Fayette and Westmoreland counties, and some ZIP codes in Armstrong County, are immediately eligible. 

The Heinz Endowments is continuing its aid to the community with a $2.3 million first wave of emergency grants. In response to COVID-19, the Endowments is focusing on four key areas: saving lives and protecting health, meeting essential basic needs, shoring up grantee organizations and supporting frontline groups and communities. 

Its first wave of grant recipients includes 412 Food Rescue, a food recovery and redistribution organization; For Good PGH, which develops and implements diversity and inclusivity initiatives for underserved populations; and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council to support the Council’s Emergency Fund for Artists.

The full list of grant recipients can be found here, and additional funding is underway. 

“We are dealing with a sweeping social and economic catastrophe unlike anything any of us has seen before,” says Grant Oliphant, president of the Foundation. “As a community, we must respond quickly and effectively to bring help and to mitigate hardship wherever and however we can.”

Categories: The 412