Impactful Ways to Help Your Community
By Beth Burrell
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is so thankful for all of the community support that we have received throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been incredibly encouraged by the way individuals, social groups, schools, and organizations of all types have stepped up to help meet the needs of our community during these uncertain times.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Bank was serving about 100,000 families per month. Social distancing guidelines and job loss has wreaked havoc across the region leaving more of our neighbors than ever before facing hunger. Although our community is finding a new normal, many of our neighbors are going to be working to recover financially from the pandemic for another year or more. Job loss combined with increased utility bills and holiday costs means that families are being financially stretched this season more than ever before.
The good news is that you can help. One of the easiest and most impactful ways that you or your group can help us meet this unprecedented need is by hosting a Food and Fund Drive this holiday season. Hosting a Food and Fund drive is a great way to mobilize your friends, family and coworkers to help our neighbors. For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide up to five nutritious meals for the children, families and seniors that we serve.
Setting up a Food and Fund Drive is easy, fun and can come in many shapes and sizes. Anything from a virtual happy hour to collecting canned goods during Halloween to passing a collection basket at your religious organization can significantly impact the work that we do. There are even fun ways to get kids involved such as hosting a bake sale or setting up a friendly competition with classmates. Tell us your ideas at email@example.com!
Understanding that many community and social groups, businesses and events are meeting virtually this year, we have launched virtual opportunities so that your group can continue to be involved while still staying safe. Virtual Food Drives are a great way to raise awareness about our work and raise funds to feed people in need. Virtual Food Drives allow individuals to come together to collect funds online and reach a set goal as a part of their food drive.
To help you kick off your Food and Fund Drive and Virtual Food Drive, we also have a team of Food Bank Ambassadors who can speak to your group, virtually or in-person, about the difference that your efforts make for our community.
We cannot end hunger alone. The collective impact of Food and Fund Drives is powerful. In 2018, more than 6.4 million meals were donated through community food and fund drives to help children, families and seniors who struggle to put food on the table. Remember, donating $1 could allow the Food Bank to provide up to five meals! Thank you for your continued efforts, partnership, and support as we work to end hunger in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
For more information about how you can help your neighbors in need, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 412-745-FUND (3863).
written by Maria Montaro, community fundraising coordinator