Summer Harvest: Come Support 412 Food Rescue and Help Fight Hunger in Pittsburgh

summer harvest 1

On July 25th, The Livermore will be hosting Summer Harvest, an event that celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh while raising money for an important social cause: fighting hunger in Allegheny County. All proceeds from this event will go to 412 Food Rescue, a non-profit started by Leah Lizarondo (The Brazen Kitchen) and Gisele Fetterman (The Free Store).

summer harvest 3
412 Food Rescue hopes to “rescue” every bit of food that stores can no longer use and convert them into meals for more than 175,000 “food insecure” people in Allegheny county, including over 43,000 children.

According to the Pittsburgh City Paper, this space is largely occupied by food banks that are unable to accept every donation in time to adequately provide for those in need. 412 Food Rescue’s approach quickly finds donors and brings the food directly to households in need, much like an “Uber for food-rescue.”

The co-founders of 412 Food Rescue: Gisele Fetterman (left) and Leah Lizarondo.

The co-founders of 412 Food Rescue: Gisele Fetterman (left) and Leah Lizarondo.

With the additional support of Jenny Liu, Geoff Misek, Nate Cochran, Jessie Schalles, and Shawn Rancatore, 412 Food Rescue won both the Jury Prize and the People’s Choice award at Steel City Codefest in February 2015. Currently they are actively recruiting volunteer drivers, app developers, and fundraisers to further their cause.

Summer Harvest will feature some great perks for its attendees:

Tickets are $20 ($25 after July 21st) to attend, and every cent of proceeds from this event will go directly to 412 Food Rescue. According to Lizarondo, for every ticket sold at Summer Harvest, 412 Food Rescue will be able to provide meals for a family of four for an entire week.

412 Food Rescue

Food rescued for many needy families. Photo courtesy of 412 Food Rescue.

Summer Harvest is supported largely in part by Startup Weekend Pittsburgh (@swpgh), a local group of community leaders who organize 54-hour events that teach entrepreneurship through competition. The next Startup Weekend will be a civic-themed competition on September 18-20 in Pittsburgh’s Allentown district.

Lee Ngo, Summer Harvest co-organizer and one of Startup Weekend Pittsburgh’s community leaders, says that Startup Weekend has been a core presence in Pittsburgh for over three years, cultivating a family of solutions-oriented collaborators in the community. He feels that it was time that they give something back to the city and make a real difference in the lives of Pittsburghers who struggle daily.

This is the first time that Startup Weekend Pittsburgh has ever donated to another cause in the city. Community leaders believe 412 Food Rescue is an obvious first choice, as it is introducing a substantial difference in the way our city engages intelligently with food in our community.

For more information or to purchase your tickets, go here:

Summer Harvest is also accepting sponsorships and donations for the event. Contact Lee Ngo for more information.

#tbd: Paint a mural during the Three Rivers Arts Festival

The Three Rivers Arts Festival opened yesterday. Lots of people are planning on coming down to see the art, but come between 11am and 2pm from today through June 14th and you can help create it. Muralist Kim Beck has begun stenciling an 850-foot mural underneath the Fort Duquesne Bridge and is ready for volunteers to help fill in the “paint by number” with black, white and gray paint.
Looking at her Tumblr, you can see that Kim Beck (previously featured on I Heart PGH) has a fascination with the mundane and ephemeral aspects of the urban landscape, like billboards, sky writing and plastic security fencing. She carries that idea forward here with the mural that depicts common, hardy, native plants. In other words, weeds. I like the project because it works at different scales; up close I think it will read as almost abstract because of how large the plants will be, and from the other side of the river it will be cool to see weeds sprouting at the foot of the city.
If you miss the window to help with the mural, you should still stop by and see some of the items on display. Riverlife has partnered with the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects to showcase past proposals by young architects on how to better utilize “urban voids”. The proposals were submissions to the Young Architects Studio Competition over the last few years, which was created as a way for young architects to express themselves and be involved in Design Pittsburgh, an annual event held by the AIA to celebrate architecture and give awards for design. The exhibit will last all summer, and Riverlife is planning events in the outdoor exhibit for every Wednesday through the end of August. Stay tuned for more details on those events as they become available. The mural and gallery are collectively known as #tbd, so follow Riverlife on Twitter, search that hashtag or just keep reading I Heart PGH.
So come down and create some art of your own, this weekend or any day until the Arts Festival closes on June 14th. Between 11am and 2pm you can help paint a mural under the Fort Duquesne Bridge. If you’re walking, it’s most easily accessed by walking towards the Point fountain and turning right after walking under the bridge. When you hit the Allegheny River, walk upstream until you see people with brushes and rollers. See you there.

Walk, Don’t Drive Down Penn Ave. On Sunday Morning

I took this photo at the 2014 OpenStreetsPGH event.

I took this photo at the 2014 OpenStreetsPGH event.

This Sunday, May 31st, 2015, the streets from Market Square to Lawrenceville will be closed to traffic and open to people. Don’t panic, this is a good road closure.  Last year Open Streets spanned from Market Square across the Roberto Clemente Bridge.  This year, OpenStreetsPGH will be over 3 miles long from Market Square to Lawrenceville.

Paris, Bogata, Tucson and now Pittsburgh

Español: Ciclovia em Bogotá

Español: Ciclovia em Bogotá (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the ideas behind Open Streets is to give people an opportunity to interact with their city in a way that is not centred around cars.  This is an idea that has been taking hold in other cities around the globe.  The Paris Respire, which translates to Paris Breathes, closes certain roads to traffic on Sundays from 9am-5pm.  Cyclovia Tuscon takes place twice a year and has quite a following.  (BTW if you are interested in learning more about cycling in Tucson, check out Bicycle Tucson @BicycleTucson a great blog run by Mike McKisson who was kind enough to give me a tour of Tucson by bike when I was there in January.)

Open Streets PGH Locations & Schedule for May 31, 2015

The streets are closed to traffic and open for fun from 8am to Noon on Sunday.  There are events planned for the following locations along the route:

  • Market Sqaure
  • 8th & Penn
  • 23rd & Penn
  • Leslie Park (on Butler Street in Lawrenceville)

You can see the entire OpenStreetsPGH Schedule for Sunday, May 31, 2015 here.

Five Stops to Make at Open Streets PGH

With so many events happening on Sunday, its hard to know where to start.  Here are five events that we think you should check out along the route.

1. Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer Pop Up Shop at Wildcard

Pittsburgh’s most awesome gift shop has invited their vintage selling friends to set up shop on Sunday am.  Stop by and pick up some old and new gifts for an old friend and make some new friends with these vintage lovers.  Visit the Facebook event for more info.

Follow: @pghvintagemixer @wildcardpgh

2. The City Spree 5K & 10K

The City Spree is a unique twist on your road race.  You and your team pick your own course to run. Use the code OPENSTREETSPGH to register for free.  Register online here.  The 5k run is sold out but there is still time to register for the 10k run or the 5k walk

  • 9am – 10k Run
  • 9:30am 5k Walk
  • 10am 5k Run SOLD OUT

Follow: @CityofPlay

3. $5 Coffee + Fresh Cinnamon Roll @ Franktuary

Stop by Frankturary before brunch for coffee and a cinnamon roll from 8am-10am. Regular brunch begins at 10 am.

Follow: @Franktuary

4. Walking Tour of Downtown with PHLF

Learn about this history of downtown Pittsburgh on a walking tour led by Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. Meet in front of the CLOCK in Market Square 10am.

Follow: @PHLF

5. Try Out the New Pittsburgh Bike Share

t-pittsburgh-bike-share-logoYou’ve seen the stations popping up.  The bikes are being rolled out today and the brand new Pittsburgh bike share, which is named HealthyRidePGH launches on Sunday. I’ve had the chance to try out bike shares in Denver, Chicago, Milwaukee and New York.  This is great news for the ‘burgh.  If you haven’t had a chance to use a bike share before, the bike share lets you “rent” a bike at one station and return the bike to another station. You can read more about how HealthyRidePGH works here.  A 30 minute ride is $2 or you can sign up for a monthly membership for $12 or $20 a month.

Follow: @HealthyRidePGH

Getting Around Town on Sunday Morning

OpenStreetsPGH has partnered with ZTrip app.  Use code PGHTours to get $15 off.  (If you want to try Uber or Lyft use code IHEARTPGH to get your first ride free.)

OpenStreetsPGH on Pittsburgh Today Live

Kim O’Dell from the Heinz Foundations and Mike Carroll from Bike Pittsburgh were on KDKA’s Pittbsurgh Today Live earlier this week to give a preview of OpenStreetsPGH.

Follow: @Pgh_Today_Live @BikePGH @KimODell412

TEDxPittsburgh is this Saturday– get 25% off tickets!

Get your tickets to TEDxPittburgh and the TEDxPittsburgh After Party. Use code “bridgespgh” for 25% off!


We all know about TED talks: the moving, inspirational, educational videos that pop up in our social media feeds and emails from friends and family. They make us think, they make us laugh, and sometimes they even make us cry. Best of all, they explore, celebrate, and share the things, both good and bad, that make us human.

So wouldn’t you love to see some TED talks, in person, that focus on the amazing people and ideas of our beloved Steel City? Well here’s your chance– TEDxPittsburgh is this Saturday!

TEDxPGH 2015 Bridges

The 2015 theme is Bridges: Ideas that Connect Us, and there’s a stellar lineup this year– from Dr. Jim Withers, who was recently featured as a CNN Hero for his work bringing medical care to Pittsburgh’s homeless population through Operation Safety Net, to Gab Bonesso, who is tackling bullying in schools through song and comedy with her partner Josh Verbanets.

We know it’s Memorial Day weekend and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous but this really is an event you can’t miss.

A few other speakers include: Diane Turnshek, a local astronomer who helped bring Earth Hour to Pittsburgh; Michelle King, a passionate teacher and self-proclaimed Learning Instigator; and Andrew Butcher, co-founder of GTechStrategies, which works to improve the health of our communities.

You can learn more about all the speakers here. With such a diverse and talented bunch, there’s bound to be a talk that speaks to you, either personally or about our beloved Pittsburgh.

TEDxPGH After Party

If we still didn’t convince you to not spend the day outside, then come to the after party from 5-8pm! Check out the newest exhibits at SPACE Gallery, while enjoying a performance by Slowdanger and treats from the incredible E2, plus complimentary wine and beer.

Still can’t make it? Try to pop in on the livestream and follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #TEDxPGH. Also follow TEDxPittsburgh on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for live updates!

We hope to see you there!

Use code “bridgespgh” for 25% off tickets to:


TEDxPittsburgh After Party.


What: TEDxPittsburgh 2015 | Bridges: Ideas that Connect Us

Where: Byham Theater, 101 6th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

When: Saturday, May 23 from 12-5pm; afterparty to follow

Please vote for Srvd as Pittsburgh’s Hottest Startup by 6pm today!

You can skip the mumbo jumbo if you want and just vote for Srvd, an app that makes it easier to order and pay for drinks at the bar, by 6pm today.

Pittsburgh river

One of the things we love about Pittsburgh (and one of the things that actually brought some of the I heart PGH team together) is the growing, vibrant startup community. Lindsay and I actually met and worked out at Thrill Mill, one the the local incubators, and you can usually find one or both of us at a startup or entrepreneur-related networking event each week.

Tonight, Pittsburgh is hosting its regional Tech Cocktail Mixer and Startup Showcase (tickets are still available), where startups from around the city will be demoing and pitching their ideas for the chance to go to the national showcase in Las Vegas.

The startup I’m a part of, Srvd, formed over a Startup Weekend in March 2014 hoping to ease the frustration of trying to get a drink from a crowded bar, while giving real value back to bars and alcohol brands. It seems we hit a chord, because we won second place and are kicking things back into high gear again to make this a reality. You can help by voting for Srvd at Tech Cocktail’s showcase now.

I truly feel fortunate to be part of such an enthusiastic and wickedly smart team that’s always believing in and striving to achieve our vision. Plus, it’s a super fun project and it allows us to connect with incredible local businesses to help them be even more successful.

Srvd logo

I say this often, but it’s hard for me to put into words just how life-changing the startup community has been for me, both professionally and personally. In just a short time, I’ve gained not only valuable experience, an incredibly supportive network, and multiple job opportunities, but genuine friends and even family.

If you’re looking to get more involved in entrepreneurship and startups, there’s a few places to start: attend events hosted by AlphaLab and Thrill Mill, join Meetup groups, or, if you really want to dive in (and I suggest you do) attend a Startup Weekend. Or you can always shoot me an email or tweet at me.

Please vote for Srvd!