Church program offers meal six days a week, including Thanksgiving

PITTSBURGH — For 90 years, people have lined up at the distinctive red door of St. Mary of Mercy's Church in Pittsburgh for a meal six days a week.

Not surprisingly, that kindness continues on Thanksgiving Day.

For the volunteers, it's a chance to learn about others' needs and to learn a little bit more about themselves, too.

It's never just about the meal.


"We want it to be like we are inviting them into the family home and into our hearts," said Heidi Potter, program director.

"If it were just me, I wouldn't have come, but we were more worried about the baby having something to eat," said Randy Kovach, who didn't have the money to afford a Thanksgiving meal.

Jessica Kirby moved here from Florida six months ago, and otherwise would be alone this Thanksgiving.

"People don't know, and you think it's the lack of resources or lack of money, shelter; honestly, it's just not being with my loved ones," she said.

"They love the food, but they want to be in a bright, warm, happy place, and that's what we want to make it," said Father Nicholas Vaskov, of St. Mary of Mercy Church.

The Red Door program is paid for with donations and run by volunteers.

They always welcome monetary donations, as well as blankets and coats.