It began 29 years ago because someone wanted to help.
Now, it has become a lifeline of support and nourishment for thousands of people of all ages who need it the most.
Attorneys Against Hunger, under the administration of the Allegheny County Bar Association, has been dedicated to providing support to 17 local agencies with a mission to help end hunger in our region.
All because someone wanted to help
“It began as (Attorney) Kenny Steinberg’s idea,” Attorney Ken Steidl said, “and we’ve been a primary supporter ever since. Now, we’ve come full circle.”
Steidl & Steinberg has been the Lead Sponsor for Attorneys Against Hunger since its inception. The law firm’s commitment to the growth of the program has indeed come full circle as Attorney Abagale Steidl, daughter of firm partners Ken and Julie Steidl, is now a co-chair for the organization.
“When you think how it all started in our (Steidl & Steinberg) conference room, it’s come a long way,” said Abagale Steidl, who also plays a key role in the bar association’s Bankruptcy Symposium and Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section. “With all of the operating costs being underwritten, all of the donations have been able to go to the organizations to help people in our community.”
The food crisis is very real. According to figures released by the PA Department of Agriculture and the PA Department of Human Services, over 1.4 million Pennsylvanians are not sure when or where their next meal will take place. That includes 399,270 children. On a given day, 17 percent of the state’s children face food insecurity.
The crisis can be felt locally as one in seven children in our community are hungry and approximately 800 kids are homeless. Those numbers are alarming and that’s what drives Attorneys Against Hunger.
The goal for Attorneys Against Hunger is to raise over $100,000 this year for local agencies. These outreach agencies include:
- The Urban League of Pittsburgh
- Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
- Jubilee Association, Inc.
- Allies for Health & Wellbeing
- Rainbow Kitchen Community Services
- JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry
- East End Cooperative Ministry
There is also the Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium that includes:
- First Lutheran Church
- St. Mary of Mercy Church
- Trinity Cathedral
- First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh
- Smithfield United Church
Attorneys Against Hunger also supports the efforts of Just Harvest, which advocates for legislative help to end hunger.
The Allegheny County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division also sponsors the annual Strike Out Hunger bowling fundraiser in May.
Attorneys Against Hunger has raised close to $2 million in its hunger-fighting efforts, but the challenges are only increasing.
“With Covid a lot more money and resources are needed,” Abagale Steidl said. “The pandemic has changed the way our organization addresses needs. We have to be more mobile and provide more take-out containers and opportunities. We had to become more mobile to give people who cannot get to our outreach agencies the food they need. We’ve also been helping people to submit appeals if they are not getting the proper food stamp amounts. There’s just so much more that needs to be done.”