Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is preparing for a busy November
The cupboard is a little fuller at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank — just when it needs it the most.
The food bank raised $2.8 million from the public in fiscal year 2013, compared with more than $2.4 million in 2012. The value of donated food during that period rose $700,000.
“November is traditionally the month we distribute the most food out of every month of the year,” said Lisa Scales, CEO of the food bank. In 2012, for instance, the food bank gave away nearly 2.6 million pounds of food, more than any other month.
“People have little wiggle room in their budget, so the added demands of heating costs, the holidays, preparing a big meal, providing gifts put more demands on their budget,” she explained. “All of those added demands of the holidays make it that much more difficult for the families we serve.”
This marks Scales' first full year as CEO since assuming the post in August 2012. She joined the food bank 17 years ago, spending 10 as chief operations officer.
“I would say the stamp I've placed on the food bank so far has been to focus more of our resources on ensuring that people can feed themselves tomorrow and shortening the lines at our food pantries,” she said. Scales said the food bank will do that by partnering with more organizations — such as job-training agencies — that will help patrons get jobs so they are able to feed themselves.
“Not knowing where your next meal is coming from puts a lot of stress on families — parents especially,” she said. “We still see parents who choose to skip a meal so their children can eat, and we know there are senior citizens who have to make that hard choice between buying food or buying medicine.”
The Penguins will hold a food drive at Consol Energy Center on Wednesday. Westinghouse, Carnegie Mellon University and the West Mifflin Area School District will follow.
“We're normally around the 4,000-pound range for donations,” said Glenn Goug-ler, a history teacher who leads the West Mifflin food drive.
On Nov. 23, parents can take their children to the Holiday Market and Christmas Village in Market Square to have their photo taken with Santa Claus. The food bank will receive $5 for each photo.
Anne Hawkins, chief development officer of the food bank, said the organization raises about $8.4 million a year, which makes up about 60 percent of the food bank's annual budget. In fiscal 2014, the food bank's budget is $13.9 million.
“We have typically loyal donors. They know that food is critical here for the viability of the region,” she said.
The food bank is seeking not only food and cash, but volunteers.
“We need thousands,” Hawkins said. “We need elves with hats collecting money.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nude photos of Penn Hills High School students spur investigation
- Ferrante, wife were at odds over trip
- Sham utility workers take Robinson couple for cash, jewels worth thousands
- Legionnaires’ case was contracted elsewhere, Pittsburgh VA hospital says
- Quiet move to Adams didn’t prevent woman’s slaying
- $412K sought to add lighting in East Liberty
- Keystone State wrestlers do it all for the ‘Krazies’
- Police ID naked man who fell over Shaler hillside
- Criminal charges against August Wilson Center could delay latest sale plan
- Newsmaker: Matthew Zupetic
- Moon Area School District considers installing solar panels for electricity