‘It’s always been my dream to feed the homeless’: Local women helping those hit hard by the pandemic

WASHINGTON, Pa. — Two women in Washington County are trying to make a positive change in the city where they live by feeding people in need.

It’s not often you see a sign offering free food, but that’s what’s happening behind Nick’s Tobacco Outlet and Convenience Store at lunchtime every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

It all began because of two women who both have a passion for helping others.

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“It’s always been my dream to feed the homeless,” said Heather Cottrill.

“I am happy. I’ve always wanted to do this,” said Johnie Brown.

Brown and Cottrill were strangers, but connected on social media. They formed the Facebook group called “Feeding the homeless and people in need in Washington, Pa.”

“We set up here because this is where a lot of the homeless people come through, like through the alley and back there,” Brown said.

Volunteers with the group help feed the hungry, handing out hot meals to go and brown bag lunches. Hygiene bags are also available.

For now, meals will continue to be served at this location, but there are plans to expand so no one goes hungry.

“I’m eventually hoping to open a soup kitchen and get bigger and better,” Cottrill said.

“We’re hoping it grows. We hope more people hear about it,” Brown said.

If you’d like to help, donations are being accepted when volunteers are there on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.