Restaurants in Washington Count are helping feed people in need.By Kym Gable

WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — City Mission in Washington County is right up the street from a favorite gathering place for City Mission staff.

Chicco Baccello is a coffee shop, bakery and deli known for its signature sandwiches but also for its community outreach.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

But like other businesses, Chicco Baccello faced challenges during the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. With so many nonprofits and people in need, a generous donor named Dan Smith had an idea during the holidays.

“Why don’t we get together with some restaurants and feed the homeless and I’ll pay for it,” said Brian Johansson, the chief operating officer of City Mission, while recalling a conversation with Smith.

Chicco Baccello owner Lisa Aprea was delighted when City Mission approached her to join the program.

“It was just such a blessing and a surprise of an idea,” Aprea told KDKA’s Kym Gable.

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The campaign became known as Heroes Fighting Hunger. Sixteen restaurants participated, making and delivering food to the residents and homeless who City Mission serves. Other major donors hopped on board, too.

Travis Costo is a resident who lives at City Mission.

“It’s just a community there,” said Costo. “The mission pretty much saved my life.”

Johansson added, “I think people really see the value. It’s a win-win. Restaurants got blessed, the mission, the residents. I don’t see why it couldn’t continue in the future.”

“We want to be involved in different community things like that. And the fact they thought of us and trusted us, to be able to provide it, we were blessed,” said Aprea.

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The participating restaurants are Chick-Fil-A, Hogfathers, Pub 333, How Lee, Union Grill, Pig and Fire, Plaza Azteca, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Harry’s Pizza, Angelo’s, Bartram House Bakery, Solomons, Market Fresh and Mission Barbecue.