In consideration of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (the Food Bank) is making changes to its direct distribution program, Produce to People.
Due to logistics and observation of Federal, State and Local COVID-19 mitigation regulations that limit crowd sizes and recommend social distancing, all Food Bank managed direct distribution programs will now operate as drive-up events with people staying in their cars to limit person-to-person contact.
The organization’s Produce to People program was designed to bring large groups of people together to give out large amounts of food in one location. Many of these locations are schools, churches and other community spaces that are now either closed for the foreseeable future or are too small considering the current regulations the Food Bank is operating within. The sites that cannot be switched to the Food Bank’s new drive-up distribution model will have to be cancelled.
The Produce to People site that are cancelled this week due to these contraints are:
- Butler on Tuesday, March 24
- Cambria – Hastings on Wednesday, March 25
- Greene on Thursday, March 26
- Beaver Falls and South Side on Saturday, March 28
Despite these challenges, the Food Bank is committed to meeting the need of its 11-county region. Working around the clock, the organization is identifying new places to hold distributions that will meet the current regulations, while also coordinating with local law enforcement, property owners and city officials.
Additionally, due to the increase in demand for food assistance at this time, each vehicle attending drive-up distributions managed by the Food Bank will receive enough food for one household only. Those without vehicles will still receive assistance at these events.
In addition to assistance provided by the Food Bank’s direct distribution programs, individuals in need of assistance can visit a food pantry in their neighborhood. A pantry locator tool is available on the Food Bank’s website. Individuals concerned about any potential changes at their local food pantry should contact the pantry directly.
In these uncertain times, the Food Bank is committed to continuing our nearly 40-year mission of feeding people in need and mobilizing the community to eliminate hunger. The organization is continuously monitoring this ever-changing situation and evaluating the best way to provide assistance to our neighbors in need of food assistance.
Understanding that this is an incredibly stressful time on families and children who rely on school meals, the Food Bank is working with school districts to ensure they have the resources, information and community partner support they need to be able to serve meals to children.
A full schedule of upcoming distributions; a pantry locator tool; and a comprehensive list and map of what schools and community organizations are doing to feed children while schools are closed are available on the Food Bank’s website at pittsburghfoodbank.org/covid19.
President & CEO
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank