We’re excited for you to get to know our volunteer of the week, Mary Gallagher!

I am a native Pittsburgher. I grew up in Greenfield. Other than working in rural PA (Mercer County) for 10 years I have lived in or around Pittsburgh. I am retired now, enjoying reading, bicycling, gardening and very soon…traveling again! 

I live on Roosevelt Avenue in Bellevue and I have lived in my house for 29 years. Various friends and family members have lived with me over the years. Currently it’s me and my unruly, but lovable, dog Charlie. 

In April of 2020, I retired from working as a project manager at the Center for Inclusion Health at Allegheny Health Network. The Center addressed barriers to attaining good health, such as food and housing insecurity, drug use, mental health and homelessness, gender discrimination, etc. I was involved in the Center’s inception and am happy to say it continues to grow and influence health care delivery in our area.

I did some work with the Allegheny County Health department as part of my job with Allegheny Health Network. When the pandemic was beginning to percolate, The folks at the health department encouraged us to sign up for the Pennsylvania Medical Reserve Corp. which acts (similar to Red Cross) in emergencies, etc. I received FEMA training to do contract tracing and to work at the vaccination sites, which I have been doing since mid-January. It wasn’t always fun but it was very interesting work and I felt grateful to be part of the public health response to the pandemic.

I quit working during the “shutdown” phase of the pandemic. when everything was closed. All of the volunteer activities (and trips and visits) I had planned vanished. So I was thrilled to find this local group of folks who decided to address food insecurity by preparing, and delivering, food to our community.

I really enjoy getting to know the vendors and talking with them about their businesses. I like to ask the vendors what to do with certain vegetables (like all of Issac’s peppers!) and I give it a try. 

The BFM has attracted a great group of folks who really enjoy the market and each other, and I look forward to seeing and working with everyone. 

I hope folks will come to the market and enjoy the activities, vendors, food trucks, etc. that are planned for this market season.