First and foremost, on behalf of the Food Bank, thank you for your unwavering support of the Food Bank and our mission in this time of crisis and uncertainty. We continue to receive regular updates from the Allegheny County Health Department regarding the local impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The safety of our staff, volunteers and those we serve continues to be an absolute priority.
With the news today of six confirmed cases of coronavirus in Allegheny County, and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announcing new restrictions and guidelines urging non-essential businesses to close voluntarily for 14 days, our contingency planning team is fluidly strategizing how to distribute food in ways that abide by these mandates, including social distancing.
The Food Bank has been deemed an essential, central service. With that, our staff and volunteers are committed to fulfilling our mission of feeding our neighbors in need, especially during these critical times. At this time, if you are looking to support Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, financial contributions will make the most impact. We sincerely appreciate any financial contributions and recommend donating online at pittsburghfoodbank.org. We encourage you to help us raise awareness of our ongoing services by sharing Food Bank messaging on social media.
Our volunteer team is continuing to monitor the volunteer needs of our network and are working to fulfill them. Per CDC guidelines, individuals who are over the age of 60, and those who have serious chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. At this time, the Food Bank is not restricting healthy volunteers from participating, but we want to ensure they are being as safe as possible. Volunteers are asked not to participate if they are sick.
Our regularly scheduled distributions are proceeding accordingly. Find a flyer of those events here. Today we served more than 500 families at our drive up FoodShare at our warehouse in Duquesne. All our work areas are functioning at maximum capacity at this time.
We are collaborating with Feeding America staff to advocate for legislation responding to the crisis and its impact on food banks. Our development team is in contact with our supporters to share updates on our operations and needs. Our team overseeing food security partnerships is participating in meetings with all schools across our region on how students will get meals with the announcement of extended closures. Multiple summer food summits planned for this month and next will now be virtual sessions where resources and ideas will be shared with community partners.
Speaking of partners, our network development team continues reaching out to provide support to our entire network of pantries, identifying any limitations they may have so we can help prepare for those needs. We will continue working to ensure that all Food Bank communications channels, including our website and social media feeds are updated frequently. Our sourcing team is continuing to monitor our food supply.
Finally, our operations team has made sure our warehouse facility is equipped and ready for an increase in capacity, while promoting health and safety protocols as set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Allegheny County Health Department.
We will continue to provide updates as frequently as needed based on new developments and information we receive.
President & CEO
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank