Update: Tuesday, June 2 (3 p.m.)
By Lisa Scales
Before I provide an update on where we stand as a food bank as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, I’ve taken a moment to address the current events happening here in Pittsburgh and across our country in response to the death of George Floyd.
As the calendar turns to June, we continue to see an increased demand for food assistance due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, while the need is still great, we are seeing some positive signs including a steadying of vehicles attending our drive-up distributions, an increase in those submitting application for and receiving SNAP benefits, and great successes in growing our home delivery and COVID Community Organization programs.
Our network of food pantries continues to operate with more than 94 percent remaining open. Eighty percent of the food we distribute is through our member agencies. Since March 16, we have held 26 drive-up food distributions serving 24,500 vehicles more than 1.3 million pounds of food. Our Doorstep Delivery program has provided 3,677 residences a total of 92,000 pounds of food in our first month of service. To date, our COVID concierge team has fielded more than 4,800 calls since the call service was established on March 19.
For people who come to our facility for food, we have provided food to over 3,200 families since March 18. Our new Community Organization program has allocated 9,240 boxes to 68 new organizations since April 13. We have packed 132,000 emergency food boxes at our facility in Duquesne and at our temporary secondary operations hub at the Monroeville Convention Center. We have submitted 699 SNAP applications since March 16. We have established 19 Grab and Go distribution sites with more than 75,000 meals served to kids to date–lunches and breakfasts for about 1,700 kids.
We have seen an average of 600 daily views on the “Get Help” page of our website since our response began on March 16. Last year at this time we saw just over 100 views per day. Overall, we have had more than 240,000 site sessions (24,000 during the same time frame in 2019). Our COVID-19 resource page has had more than 37,000 pageviews.
For those looking for food assistance, here is a special look at the many ways people who need food can get help from the Food Bank.
Tomorrow is our KDKA Feed the Kids telethon. We want to thank KDKA, Citizen’s Bank and Giant Eagle for supporting our mission and feeding thousands of kids in the process. Now more than ever, children and their families are facing food insecurity and turning to the Food Bank and its network for support.
In advance of the Feed the Kids telethon, on last week’s Food Podcast, we focused on the amazing work being done at Trinity School District. They have handed out 20,000 Grab and Go meals to students each week!
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is here for everyone. If you are in need of food assistance, please visit the Get Help section of our website or call 412-460-3663 ext. 655.
President & CEO
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank