The Manna Ministries in Aliquippa serves dinner once a week to about 75 to 100 people throughout the year. Since the pandemic, the need has grown substantially, with approximately 200 to 300 meals being served.
“This is really a beautiful program and very well-run,” said Beverly Pietrandrea, a past president of BCAR. “They’re having a difficult time meeting the needs of the community in the past several months. The Beaver County Association has raised money and collected donations for them before, but we wanted to help them out at this time.”
The Beaver County Association received a PAR Century of Service grant to help pay for the expenses to provide a meal for the program. PAR’s Century of Service grants allow local Realtor® organizations to help make a difference in their communities during the state association’s 100th anniversary. BCAR also provided additional funding. BCAR members purchased food, prepared and packaged the dinners and handed out the meals along with other volunteers.
Pietrandrea said they wanted to provide a more substantial meal, so they supplied fried chicken, in addition to preparing 50 pounds of macaroni salad and baked beans. And they provided chocolate chip cookies along with the meal.
Bridget Wysocki, also a BCAR past president, works with Manna Ministries on a regular basis. “I’ve been working with this organization for about eight years and I try to do what I can to help out because there are a number of people struggling in this community.”
“People are extremely grateful to receive the meals,” she added. “Manna Ministries tries to also provide additional food resources for people with donations from other groups and they’re helping to meet the needs of those with food insecurities.”
“This is just such a super program,” Pietrandrea added. “As Realtors®, we want to give back to our communities and help those in need.”
The Butler County Association of Realtors® recently donated their time serving meals, distributing food and clothing items, handing out hygiene kits and providing assistance with free medical screenings during a county-wide program, “Stand Down: A Hand UP…Not a Hand Out.”
This 35-year tradition started when the association learned that the Berks Encore’s Meals on Wheels program offered meals every day of the year, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Realtors® stepped in to cook and deliver meals on this holiday and have continued to do so.