Bringing Fresh, Healthy, Locally Grown Produce to People in Need
The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Crisp lettuce, sweet corn, apples, vine ripened tomatoes, crunchy carrots and hearty potatoes… sound like food one could find at a food bank? The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank distributes thousands of pounds of fresh produce to people in need every week. Following is a description of a few different ways people can get involved to help bring more fresh produce to people in need.
The Food Bank participates in Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR), a public service campaign of the Garden Writers Association of America (GWAA). PAR is a way for gardeners to help the community and fight hunger. Gardeners can grow extra specifically for the program or they may collect excess produce to donate. The Food Bank will connect gardeners to a local pantry or soup kitchen so that gardeners may drop off their donation at their convenience. The food bank keeps track of the pounds donated in order to measure the success of the program. A gardener simply has to fill out the receipts with their name, the date, the agency they have dropped off to and the pounds that are being donated (this can be estimated), and mail or fax the receipts back to the Food Bank.
Gardeners may also check out www.AmpleHarvest.org,a website that connects gardeners to food pantries near them. To find an agency that accepts donations of fresh produce, gardeners can enter their address and/or zip code and the closest pantry to them will be shown via map and listing. There are currently 5,128 food pantries listed on AmpleHarvest.org nation wide. If there are no pantries listed near you the Food Bank is happy to help! If you choose to find a pantry through AmpleHarvest.org, please still contact the Food Bank for receipts in order to participate in the program.
The food bank’s gleaning program is another way to bring fresh produce to those in need. Gleaning is rescuing fresh food from the fields after farmers are finished harvesting. The food bank is always looking for gleaning volunteers to help harvest fresh produce. Details about gleans:
- Gleans take place weekdays and weekends beginning in June through December
- Maximum 3 hour commitment
- Food Bank provides training, tools, water, and snacks – all you need is transportation to the farm
- All ages over 7 years old welcome with a guardian!
- Looking for people available on short notice
Our partner farms:
For more information on how to be involved please contact Jeralyn Beach, Produce Specialist, at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank firstname.lastname@example.org 412-460-3663 X. 214