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Produce for the Food Pantry – any food pantry
by Iris Valanti, Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh


As recent temperatures remind us, summer has officially arrived. And with the warm sunny (and rainy) days comes Pennsylvania's glorious state pride: fresh produce.

At the grocery stores, the farmers markets and even in your own gardens, produce is becoming abundant. While the hot weather crops like corn and tomatoes aren't Pennsylvania local yet, we have seen local lettuce, peas and some of their early brothers.

The Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry makes every effort to provide as many fresh healthy fruits and vegetables to people struggling with hunger in our community as possible, and you can help.

  • Do you have a garden? The Pantry gladly accepts locally grown produce, and is able to distribute it quickly. Our clients enthusiastically take any produce we can offer. Later in the season when crops like squash get overwhelming, don't let them go to waste.
  • Do you belong to a CSA? Perhaps you are able to donate a share to the Pantry and give a gift that keeps giving throughout the season.
  • When you planted your garden, did you have any seedlings left over? The Pantry welcomes seedling donations too!
  • When you are buying produce at the grocery or the farmers market, consider purchasing a few extra items for the pantry.
  • If it's not convenient for you to donate produce –- you don't live near the pantry, or your time is too limited – you can make a donation specifically to purchase produce. Like most food pantries, we can save money by buying in quantity, so your donated dollars go further.

Wherever you live, chances are there's a food pantry or soup kitchen near you that could use all of the above. Fresh produce can be expensive and beyond the tight budgets of low-income seniors and families struggling to put food on the table.

There is actually a nonprofit organization that helps to connect gardeners with extra produce and food pantries that could use it. Check out www.AmpleHarvest.org for more information.
Hunger touches 1 in every 7 Pennsylvania residents. With some coordinated effort, we can feed everyone. Donating your extra produce is one of many strategies that can really make a difference.



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