I had the good fortune to be able to observe the Produce to People program at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank tonight. I’m beat, and still processing all that I learned, but it was definitely one of those experiences I can’t forget. Here’s a glimpse of what I saw.
This doesn’t begin to demonstrate the volume of people or food in the room tonight. This does, however, demonstrate the ways people can be resourceful in getting their food home (we saw many laundry baskets in use). It also demonstrates the ubiquity of the canned corn that helps to fill in the gaps.
This once a month distribution is designed to be supplementary to local food pantry use, providing fresh produce as well as more shelf-stable food. However, 60% of the participants don’t have a home food pantry. Families can take home up to 45 pounds of food, and we saw volunteers maneuvering these carts back and forth for hours tonight.
The Paper Plate campaign asks people to explain to their elected officials how hunger has affected them, and what role the food bank has played in their life. This month, Senator Pat Toomey is the intended recipient of the paper plates – and you can send one virtually. It’s an easy way to make your voice heard and support food security in our region.