Pittsburgh advocacy groups and distillery hand out meals for families and pets just before Christmas

    (Image via Flickr Commons)

    By Ryan Deto

    On Wed., Dec 23, three groups are partnering together to distribute hundreds of grocery packages and bags of dog and cat food to needy families and their pets.

    412 Food Rescue is teaming up with the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team and local distillery Maggie’s Farm Rum to distribute 420 grocery boxes and 400 bags of dog and cat food at the Heinz Field Gold Parking Lot 1 from 12-2 p.m. on Dec. 23.

     

    Maggie’s Farm Rum owner Tim Russell understands the economical struggles of the pandemic, as he has been forced to shut down the distillery’ on-site cocktail bar. But he still wants to help families out, and he has provided donations for the hundreds of bags of pet food for the distribution.

    “Families are hurting right now and this is shaping up to be a difficult holiday season for many,” said Russell in a press release. “It broke our hearts to think about people who have to worry about feeding themselves and feeding their pets. We wanted to do our part to help everyone have a Merry Christmas.”

    PAART, a group that provides air and ground transportation for at-risk animals, matched the Maggie’s Farm donation for a total of 20,000 pounds of pet food.

    “This year shows that when times get tough, Pittsburghers stick together,” said PAART co-founder Brad Childs in a press release. “Here you have someone whose industry has been hit by COVID as hard as any, and his first thought is how to help other people – and pets. I’m so grateful to Tim and our other donors who will make it possible for more Pittsburgh families to have a happy holiday.”

    Ryan Deto is a reporter for Pittsburgh City Paper, where this story first appeared.