This summer, Pittsburgh’s Iota Phi chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is providing thousands of healthy snacks to children in the Northside.

Photo: Every Friday, members of the Iota Phi chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. sort and deliver healthy snacks to children throughout the Northside. By Carlton Heywood

By Carlton Heywood and Ashlee Green

Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic period, the Omega men of Pittsburgh’s Iota Phi chapter have continued to provide service and uplift neighborhoods in Allegheny and Beaver Counties. 

On Friday, June 26, undergraduate member of the international Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Eagle Scout, Jermaine Younger Jr. represented the Omega Xi chapter along with the local Iota Phi chapter at the fraternity’s weekly healthy snack program. 

Dr. Rahmon Hart, initiated into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. at Slippery Rock University in 1992, Jermaine Younger Jr. at Lafayette College in 2019, and Ron Jones, at Lincoln University in 1994, volunteer for the fraternity’s healthy snack initiative on June 26. Photo by Carlton Heywood

About a dozen members of Iota Phi collaborate with the Manchester Citizens Corporation (MCC) and AHN/Highmark to provide 1,000 healthy snacks to Northside children’s agencies every Friday throughout the summer. Once the snacks are sorted, they are delivered to Project Destiny, Allegheny Center Alliance Church, the Northside Leadership Conference, Manchester Citizens Corporation, Providence Connections, The Pittsburgh Project, and Aaron Donald 99 Solutions Foundation.

Dr. Rahmon Hart, director of community relations at Rivers Casino and chair of Iota Phi’s community outreach initiatives, says that his fraternity has been serving the city of Pittsburgh since 1925.

“We are a proud group of African American men who love the community,” says Dr. Hart in an email. Our hope is that our efforts send a strong message to the community that we love and care about them deeply. We believe that many hands make light work.”

At the time of printing, Dr. Hart says that in addition to the healthy snacks initiative, Iota Phi is entering its 16th week of providing cooked meals to senior citizens living in several high-rise buildings throughout the Northside. Over 15,000 meals, he says, have been cooked and delivered so far.

“We are a service organization and we are committed to providing uplift to the community throughout the year,” says Dr. Hart. “We will continue focusing on addressing food insecurity during this COVID-19 pandemic by providing cooked meals to senior citizens every week. In addition, we will be focusing on other community needs: youth mentoring, voter registration, assault on illiteracy, and providing scholarships to aspiring college students.”

Dr. Hart mentions that without the support of Iota Phi’s partners, donors, and volunteers, the fraternity’s success would not be possible. Their partners include Rivers Casino, Highmark, Ebenezer Church, Mt. Ararat Church, Rolling Hills Church, Manchester Citizens Corporation, A. Phillip Randolph Institute, Sigma Pi Phi-Rho Boule, State Rep.  Jake Wheatley, County Councilman DeWitt Walton, Chef Jolando Hinton, and Chef Keith Butler.

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