AAH Marks 25-year Milestone, Surpasses $1.8-million Threshold

By Mary McGinley

To celebrate 25 years in existence, the Allegheny County Bar Association has asked Kenny Steinberg of Steidl & Steinberg to serve as the Attorneys Against Hunger honorary 25th anniversary chair during the 2017-18 bar year. It was an obvious choice, after all, Steinberg was one of the grassroots campaign’s founders, and was excited to join in this year’s effort with AAH co-chairs Bill Stang and Mary McGinley.

“When the Attorneys Against Hunger campaign started 25 years ago, the most attractive part of it to me was that we would be able to see the results of our efforts right here in Allegheny County,” Steinberg said. “Hunger is a solvable problem. We can help by making sure that food gets to those in need. Seeing the legal community rally behind this campaign is truly a highlight of my year.”

The legal community rallied again this year. The Foundations Attorneys Against Hunger campaign wrapped up in May, raising more than $100,000 to fight hunger in Allegheny County. This final number was largely comprised of donations from individual donors and sections and committees of the Allegheny County Bar Association.

As they have for over the past 10 years, Eckert Seamans, the Rita M. McGinley Foundation and members of the McGinley family challenged the bar to meet a certain benchmark and committed $15,000 if that mark was reached. This year’s mark was $85,000 and the legal community rose to the challenge.

Though the campaign continues to be a grass roots effort, it has grown significantly throughout its history. During its first three years, Attorneys Against Hunger raised about $65,000 total for three organizations. After that start-up period, the effort really took off. Once this year’s efforts were factored in, organizers and donors were able to celebrate surpassing the $1.8 million mark for funding that it has raised over the past quarter century for more than 15 hunger relief agencies in Allegheny County.

The foundation of the annually successful campaign is its sponsors, who contributions cover all the administrative costs associated with the campaign. Because of their support, Attorneys Against Hunger is able to distribute 100 percent of its annual fundraising directly to local hunger agencies.

Lead sponsor Steidl & Steinberg and supporting sponsors Gleason & Associates and Judge Raymond Novak all have made multi-year commitments to the campaign.

The organizations that the campaign has contributed to are: East End Cooperative Ministry, Focus on Renewal, First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Intersection, Jubilee Kitchen, Just Harvest, North Hills Community Outreach, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, Rainbow Kitchen, Smithfield United Church of Christ, South Hills Interfaith Movement, Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry, St. Mary of Mercy, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and Urban League Hunger Services. Members of the Attorneys Against Hunger Committee conduct site visits to assess the needs of these organizations and to verify that the funds donated are being utilized to relieve hunger.

Another important aspect of the campaign is the opportunity for attorneys, their families and friends to participate in outreach events. This year, volunteers sorted and packed food at the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry and served a Valentine’s Day brunch at Rainbow Kitchens, among other events. The outreach events allow volunteers to interact with the hunger agencies that the campaign supports and better understand the needs of the hunger community.

The bar foundation thanks all of the donors, volunteers and Attorneys Against Hunger Committee members who made this year’s campaign a success. With that continued support, the ACBF looks forward to passing the $2 million mark.

Reprinted with permission from the Allegheny County Bar Association