Food Social Enterprise

Helping refugee women gain financial freedom through food-based programs

The Power of Sharing a Meal

COVID-19 UPDATE: Hello Neighbor is committed to the safety of the communities we serve. It is for this reason that we’ve decided to pause all food-based programs - including Thanksgiving and Holiday New Neighbor Cookie Table sales. We are continuing to monitor federal and local guidelines to determine when we can safely reopen this program. While we are dedicated to launching the Food Social Enterprise as soon as possible, we will not do so until we can guarantee the safety of our home chefs and customers. Thank you for your patience.

Hello Neighbor’s Food Social Enterprise Program is an initiative that began back in 2018 with our Neighbor Cookie Table, which offers a selection of sweet treats made by Syrian refugee mothers available for purchase online.

There is a growing interest by our refugee families for opportunities to cook, as many of our mothers have small children at home or face other barriers such as language and transportation that prevent them from seeking work outside of the home. The cookie tables allow women the opportunity to make a supplemental income by earning $0.75 of every dollar, all while sharing their cooking and culture with their new Pittsburgh neighbors.

We are also continually motivated to expand our programs as we see women building confidence and a sense of fulfillment through the ability to work and create food for others. Our most recent expansion of the Social Food Enterprise program has included community dinners in Pittsburgh featuring authentic cuisine prepared by one our refugee women in partnership with local restaurants. These community dinners allow people to come together for an evening of exploring the flavors of another culture while supporting our efforts to promote the inclusion of refugees in the Pittsburgh region.

Our refugee families are full of talented, hardworking individuals and we are continually looking for new ways to support them in their endeavors. Whether it is serving food in partnership with local businesses, selling handmade goods in local markets, or something else, we are always accepting ideas for partnerships that create opportunities for our newest neighbors.

New Neighbor Cookie Table

If you’ve ever been to a Pittsburgh wedding, you’re probably familiar with the widely accepted tradition of the cookie table. Holding true to this beloved Pittsburgh tradition, we decided to start a cookie table featuring delicious Middle Eastern treats made by some of the Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi refugee women enrolled in Hello Neighbor programs. The New Neighbor Cookie Table is featured seasonally around Thanksgiving, December holidays, and Valentine’s Day with pre-sale online and pick up at one of our convenient locations across Pittsburgh.

The New Neighbor cookie table gives refugee bakers the opportunity to earn a supplemental income all while sharing their culture and love for cooking with their new Pittsburgh neighbors

Custom Orders

We offer a variety of international cuisines with a customizable selection of lunch and dinner foods, party platters, and desserts offered for private and corporate events of all sizes.

Custom orders are available for purchase at any time throughout the year with a $20 custom fee. All orders must be placed at least one week prior to the requested pickup date. Pick up is available at our office at 6587 Hamilton Avenue, #1E, Pittsburgh, PA between 9AM - 5PM Monday through Friday. Delivery may be available for an extra charge.

For more information or to request menu options and pricing, please contact us directly.

Community Dinners

The idea for our community dinners was born from the relationship between one of our mentors who owned a restaurant, and one of our mentees who loved to cook.

These dinners feature authentic cuisine prepared by one of our refugee women in collaboration with a local chef, offering the opportunity for neighbors to gather for a cultural experience and an opportunity to support recently resettled refugees.

Our previous community dinners have featured Syrian food and Nepalese food. You can see photos and videos from past events here:

Are you a local Pittsburgh restaurant interested in promoting inclusion? Partner with us.

Partnership Opportunities

We are looking to host a series of community dinners over the course of the year, where we can highlight our wonderful cooks and the diversity that Pittsburgh has to offer. We would love to host one community dinner every three months, with additional holiday dinners or events.

We are currently looking for:

  • Restaurants to partner with for community dinners in 2020.
  • Coffee shops or bakeries to co-create sweets or items with a portion of the proceeds going to support Hello Neighbor.
  • Local food or craft markets interested in selling homemade goods from local refugee women.
  • Individuals, businesses, and creative partners who want to engage more Pittsburghers in the work of Hello Neighbor. If you are excited about the work we are doing or have ideas for how to make Pittsburgh more welcoming, we want to hear from you!

Other Ways to Get Involved:

  • Custom order from us for staff parties
  • Advertise our Thanksgiving and December New Neighbor Cookie Table