IT Staffing Helps Hunger

In response to the Pittsburgh region experiencing a dramatic increase in food insecurity from the on-going COVID-19 Pandemic, a cohort of Pittsburgh-based IT staffing firms decided to do something about it.

Over the course of a few weeks, Synergy Staffing and Raeder Landree mobilized more than a dozen IT staffing firms to raise $78,000 for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. A check was presented to the Food Bank on April 28.

The firms that participated in addition to Synergy Staffing and Raeder Landree, include: eNGINE,  OpenArc, JH Technical Services, Oxford Solutions , AC Coy, Mastech Digital, PEAK Technical Staffing, CPR, CEI, Enkompas and TEK Connexion.

“This just felt like the right thing to do, and it felt good to do it,” said Frank Civitate, Founder of Synergy Staffing who teamed up with Shari Landree of Raeder Landree for the initiative. “We normally compete daily against each other recruiting the best technical talent for Pittsburgh’s technology-driven companies, but we easily found common ground in coming together to help those affected by Covid-19.”

“We definitely needed to help Pittsburgh,” said Landree. “It’s our job!”

After seeing a Pittsburgh Technology Council e-mail promoting its “Business as Usual” webcast featuring Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank CEO Lisa Scales, Shari Landree of Raeder Landree was inspired to do something.

“I felt that companies like mine should do something,” said Landree. “If we could all band together, we could really make a difference! We started reaching out, gave people deadlines and that was it.”

Jennifer Zgurich, Director of Corporate and Community Giving at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, said they were ecstatic to receive the donation. “$78,000 can provide up to 390,000 meals because $1 can provide up to 5 meals,” she said. “This is truly a gift that will make an impact.”

According to Zgurich, the six weeks that the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has seen a dramatic increase in food insecurity due to the COVID-19 crisis the Food Bank has responded by:

  • Providing 4.1 million pounds of food
  • More than 100,000 pounds to nearly 1,800 people through its emergency food assistance program at its warehouse in Duquesne alone
  • More than 600,000 pounds of food through its drive-up distributions
  • More than 56,000 pounds (2,250 food boxes) to 30 NEW partner agencies
  • It’s worked with school districts and community organizations to ensure children have access to approximately 25,000 Grab and Go meals
  • It’s assisted 342 people with completing SNAP applications, resulting in 340,000 meals (more than $1 million in benefits)
  • Rolled out a new home delivery program collaboration resulting in 29,000 pounds of food being delivered to the doorstep of more than 1,100 individuals in our region
  • In the past six weeks it had more than 19,000 visits to its “Get Help” page. A typical six-week span would result in about 1,100 views

Civitate notes that Pittsburgh’s IT Staffing firms are competitive, but are made up of leaders that have a tremendous amount of respect for each other and when they were approached with this idea about a “collective financial donation” to the Food Bank, were anxious to help those in need during these extraordinary times.

“I cannot overstate this enough, our accomplishment was only achieved because of the generosity and support of the leaders at these wonderful local recruiting firms. I was happy to help facilitate the effort,” said Civitate. “But it was apparent to me very early, these other staffing companies were just as eager and enthusiastic to help make a positive impact on our community.”

“We definitely needed to help Pittsburgh,” said Landree. “It’s our job!”

“Funding today and continuing to stay involved with the Food Bank past this crisis is most appreciative,” said Zgurich. “In this time of crisis, the community turned to the Food Bank, and we were here to provide, as we’ve been since 1980, and as we will be in the future. People face food insecurity every day, people lose their jobs every day, kids face hunger every day. Food insecurity won’t go away when a vaccine for COVID-19 is found. But the Food Bank will still be here to provide for those who need us.”

Donations to the Pittsburgh Greater Community Food Bank can be made at www.pittsburghfoodbank.org.