It’s a Fish Fry-Day in western Pa.! Here’s what’s different this year because of the pandemic

It’s a Fish Fry-Day in western Pa.! Here’s what’s different this year because of the pandemic

SCOTTDALE, Pa. — Fish fries are a huge fundraiser for churches every year during Lent.

After they were shut down abruptly last year midseason because of the pandemic, they’re making some adjustments this year, like being able to order online, from your phone or from your computer.

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“People came every single week and in fact last year and this year, people came from Uniontown and Pittsburgh, just to have our fish,” said Karen Miedel, a volunteer. “Last year we started out great and we were having a fantastic year, and then on March 13, that’s when everything shut down.”

The pandemic cut the season short for a lot of nonprofit organizations last year.

This year, it’s forcing volunteers to get creative when it comes to health and safety — dine-in seating is ruled out — but Saint John’s Church and Saint Joseph’s Church in Scottdale are now offering online ordering to avoid crowd congestion and contactless payments.

“Today’s our first day for it, and we’ve done really well so far, we had several online orders for lunch and for dinner. All you have to do is go to our Facebook page and there’s a link there, and you can put your order in and pay with credit card and you’re set,” Miedel said.

The Friday fish fries are such a huge boost to the church after the pandemic shut them down early last year, they’re relying on their fish-eating faithful to make up for lost fundraisers.

Fish fries get the go-ahead as pandemic-impacted Lenten season swims closer

“Without the church attendance being what it normally was, we’re not getting the offertory we used to have, so this fish fry is a fundraiser to make up that difference. Also, we couldn’t have our festivals last summer, which was a really big income boost,” Miedel said.

You can still order your fish dinners in person as well.

The church serves up fish every Friday during Lent from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.