When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in southwestern Pennsylvania, many of our neighbors found themselves making difficult choices they never imagined having to make. After a reduction in hours at their job or facing a job loss altogether, what bills can be paid? Wanting to keep friends and family healthy, should they refrain from visiting loved ones? Knowing they have a compromised immune system, is it safe to leave home?
This last question became an overnight reality for many of the people we serve at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Whether it was someone who was already homebound, or newly unable to leave their home for fear of contracting COVID-19, the number of people who could not get food for themselves increased dramatically. Within a matter of weeks, Food Bank staff launched Doorstep Delivery to meet this need. The program brings groceries to the most vulnerable people in the form of a 25-pound shelf-stable box of food delivered directly to a recipient’s door.
Doorstep Delivery became a much-needed service for our neighbors and the Food Bank worked diligently to keep up with demand. From March through September, 12,168 people received 304,200 pounds of food through Doorstep Delivery. We are proud of the work we have done thus far to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors receive the food assistance they need.
In order to sustain and grow this program, however, several changes are necessary. Moving forward, individuals eligible for this home delivery program must be a resident of Allegheny, Beaver or Butler County and be 60 years of age or older to qualify for Doorstep Delivery. Changing our approach will allow the Food Bank to make improvements to the program, ensuring it will continue into the future.
We are notifying all current Doorstep Delivery recipients of these changes and sharing additional food assistance resources with those individuals. We are also working with our network as they offer delivery options through food pantries and other agencies.
Thank you for your support of Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.