Richard King Mellon Foundation gives generous $3 million gift to campaign
By Beth Burrell
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is deeply grateful to the Richard King Mellon Foundation for providing a generous gift to the Grow Share Thrive campaign in December 2019. The $3 million gift helps advance the vital work of the Food Bank to provide nutritious food to more neighbors facing hunger in southwestern Pennsylvania.
“The Foundation’s gift was a critical start to ensure our neighbors with the highest needs have more access to more nutritious food right where they live,” says Lisa Scales, president and CEO at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Sam Reiman, director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, emphasized the importance of the commitment. “The gift we awarded was intended to help the Food Bank expand its physical facilities, so that it could serve the community in a more streamlined way,” he says. “(The gift) is also a reflection, I think, of the larger shift happening in the community around the role of food, not addressing only hunger, but also changing behaviors around healthy eating. This leads to improvements in health and well-being, which is of significant importance to the Foundation.”
Established in 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation is the largest foundation in southwestern Pennsylvania and one of the 50 largest in the world. The Foundation focuses on six funding programs, including health and well-being, to further their mission of investing in the future of southwestern Pennsylvania.
Building a stronger community together
The Foundation also invested an additional $1.2 million to help the Food Bank respond to the global pandemic. When our community needed it most, these funds provided immediate relief and vital assistance to our neighbors in southwestern Pennsylvania whose lives were hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19.
Reiman says the Foundation knows it has the ability to attract attention to important issues such as food insecurity—but it doesn’t replace what we can do together to help our neighbors.
“Your ability to volunteer, to donate goods, to make a donation to the Food Bank or to help a neighbor out whom you know is dealing with food insecurity—we don’t have that ability to make changes at that level,” Reiman says. “We remind ourselves daily that we can only be successful if we’re able to rally everybody in this community to these topics. You don’t have to have be a multibillion-dollar foundation to help your community.”
Thank you to the Richard King Mellon Foundation for their partnership and commitment to our neighbors in need across southwestern Pennsylvania.