Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank works with a network of more than 360 member agencies located throughout an eleven county region of southwestern Pennsylvania. Member agencies include smaller food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens, daycare centers for both senior citizens and children, personal-care homes, MH/MR drop-in centers, homeless shelters, drug rehabilitation centers, shelters for battered women and their children, Home Delivered Meals Programs (Meals on Wheels) for the elderly, and after-school programs for youth.
It is the task of the Agency Relations department to connect with these agencies and help them provide food assistance to their participants. Agency Relations Coordinators help agencies develop and maintain best practices in every respect, including set-up, food safety and sanitation, program outreach, eligibility requirements, food ordering, record-keeping, product security, and technical assistance for efficient and effective food assistance programs. The Food Bank also works with agencies to acquire equipment for adequate food storage and operations, such as refrigerators and freezers.
Some specialized programs are available:
Food Stamp Outreach: It is estimated that only 54% of residents who are eligible actually receive Food Stamps. The largest federal nutrition program, Food Stamps bring approximately one billion dollars into the Pennsylvania economy. Applying for Food Stamps may be difficult for some people, so our Food Stamp Outreach Coordinator is here to help. If you would like to enroll and need help, please call (412) 460-3663, ext 286, or email the Food Stamp Outreach Coordinator.
After School: Thousands of children are able to receive nutritious food through after school programs. The Food Bank helps agencies such as Boys and Girls Clubs make sure each child has an afternoon snack, and many serve an evening meal. Research shows that young children who do not get adequate nutrition suffer life-long setbacks in school and health, so after school programs are critical. Agency Relations also helps after school programs stay current with safety standards, grant proposals for support, and educational best practices. In addition, the Agency Relations Team helps to connect them to the Child & Adult Care Feeding Program which provides a subsidy to help cover the costs of meals for youth at risk. For more information on after school programs, email the Agency Relations Department.
Regional Outreach: The Food Bank has made a concerted effort to expand its ability to provide food to residents of the counties outside of Allegheny County. A Gap Study commissioned by the Food Bank in 2004 helped lead the way to strategic planning, including hiring two new staff members specifically charged with improving service to families in rural areas.
The Food Bank's eleven-county service area includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, and Washington Counties. For more information, email the Community Outreach Department.