Bradford food drive fills the seats at Bromeley Theater

Two people sitting in theater filled with grocery bags

Pitt–Bradford hasn’t been able to fill the Bromeley Family Theater with audiences during the pandemic, so instead it filled the space on April 24 with food for The Friendship Table, Bradford’s soup kitchen, according to a news release from Pitt–Bradford.

Local businesses who gathered food and funds in advance could pull up to the front of Blaisdell Hall for a contactless drop-off.

Volunteers from Pit­t–Bradford and its Arts Council, The Friendship Table and the American Association of University Women then carried the food to a backstage loading dock. Volunteers there sorted food that could be taken to The Friendship Table to create grab-and-go meals for its patrons. Items that could not readily be used for the creation of meals were sorted to go to other food pantries serving Bradford.

Patty Colosimo, director of arts programming, conceived of and planned the event. She envisioned placing $10 worth of food or donation in each of the campus theater’s 500 seats. By the end of the day, the project had collected $7,560 and food donations worth $2,750.

Ben Dansberger, a member of The Friendship Table board of directors and executive chef at Pitt-Bradford, was not surprised.

“The sense of community that’s here is insane,” he said. “I’ve never lived in a place like this.”

Money from the event will go toward the Howard L. Fesenmyer Endowment Fund, which honors an active volunteer at both Pitt-Bradford and The Friendship Table who died earlier this year. The endowment will help The Friendship Table, which served 60,000 meals in the past year, when donations are lower. The organization is funded entirely through the community.