Kick off the grilling season May 4 as North Hills Community Outreach holds its inaugural community barbecue at Memorial Park Church in McCandless.

The event will be held, rain or shine, from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at Children ages 2 and younger are admitted for free.

The NHCO hosts a community fundraiser annually. But this is the first year holding a barbecue celebration at Memorial Park Church, its presenting sponsor, according to Kerry Keegan Mulhern, the organization’s development and finance assistant.

Mulhern said they’re excited to have a “new venue and changing up the experience” for supporters, friends and family. The church is at 8800 Peebles Road.

Other sponsors include Hampton Mechanical Inc. of Hampton Township and Dollar Bank.

The event will feature music, a silent auction and an all-you-can-eat barbecue, provided by Wheelfish, a restaurant in Ross. The family-friendly event features an auction especially for kids and a bounce house.

Children can participate in a craft activity, and their creations will be donated to older adults in the region who are enrolled in NHCO’s In Service of Seniors program.

The event is an important fundraiser for the nonprofit, which addresses the needs of people in crisis, hardship and poverty in northern Allegheny County. All funds raised at the event will go toward its services.

Suburban poverty impacts thousands of families in the North Hills, according to Lizzy Zimmerman, NHCO director of development and communications.

“Inflation and high housing costs are just two of many factors that are preventing these families from achieving financial stability,” she said. “If we can help them to get through the month, whether it is with food or rental assistance, we are doing our part to help our neighbors.”

People can also purchase and donate a $10 ticket online for an individual who uses the NHCO’s services, said Jeff Geissler, communications coordinator.

“We’re having a great response to this opportunity. Allowing supporters to purchase tickets for the families that use our services helps them enjoy our events and be a part of the NHCO community outside of our offices,” Geissler said.

Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

During fiscal year 2022-2023, North Hills Community Outreach provided 23,234 services to 4,092 families and individuals, according to the nonprofit’s annual report.

Food insecurity and general financial hardship were the top two reasons people sought help at NHCO. The report listed 1,286 families and individuals were served by NHCOs three food pantries, located in Allison Park, Millvale and Pittsburgh.

Families and individuals also receive housing, rent and utilities assistance, free tax services, transportation assistance, senior services and more.

Last fiscal year, 791 volunteers contributed more than 23,100 hours to the NHCO. That includes an estimated 580 hours of help from 84 volunteers who were 18 and younger, per the annual report.

Natalie Beneviat is a Trib Total Media contributing writer.