Hunger Action Month- Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank #BlogMob

17 Sep

L’Shanah Tovah, all! Wishing you a sweet and wonderful New Year! I wish that for all of you, your New Year is full of health and prosperity, and that you share that prosperity with all in your community who are in need!

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On Thursday I had the wonderful opportunity to tour Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank with a group of Pittsburgh bloggers, and learn about all the amazing programs the food bank provides for 11 Western Pennsylvania counties. I had assumed that the food bank was a food pantry, but it is much much more than that. In addition to providing direct food distribution to individuals, the food bank coordinates food distribution to local food pantries all over Southwestern Pennsylvania, and so many other programs and resources that I can’t even begin to address them all here (but you can learn all about them from the food bank’s webpage!) Better yet, see the hunger action month calendar for inspiration for things you can do in the month of September to take action against hunger.

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I was amazed by the sheer size and volume of food at the food bank, and the corresponding need within our community.  You always know that people are in need and are hungry, but the dramatic size of that need really did not strike me until I saw aisle after aisle after aisle of the enormous warehouse.

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On the day we toured, the food bank was doing a “produce to the people” distribution.  Produce to the people is a program that distributes fresh fruits and vegetables to those with income qualifications.  I was not only impressed with the variety provided and the food bank’s collaborative work with local farms to distribute much-needed produce, but also the comprehensive information and cooking demonstrations the food bank provided about how to use that produce in healthy, fast, and inexpensive ways.

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acorn squash harvest stew

In the face of potential massive funding cuts to SNAP (formerly food stamps), the food bank is leading a paper plate writing campaign, in which individuals write letters to Governor Corbett on paper plates, explaining what SNAP, the food bank, and other hunger-fighting programs that receive government funding have meant to them. Here, Rachel shows off the stack of letter plates collected this night alone.

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I was proud that my firm, Thorp Reed & Armstrong LLP, sponsored this event by providing a raffle prize of Pirates tickets and a swag bag.  Here’s the proud winner, who herself is an inspiration.  She’s a high school student running a project that involves collecting totes for the Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project, and also sewing tote bags from donated fabric.

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This tour inspired me to take action.  I’m continuing to pick up a jar of peanut butter to donate each time I stop at the store, and I want to arrange a repacking day where my coworkers and I can help out at the food bank with repacking bulk food into individual-sized distributions.  With my crazy schedule, I am more able to volunteer in a single-event kind of fashion (rather than every week or month).  Of course, the Food Bank and its affiliated entities have plenty of volunteer opportunities for every level of involvement and availability.

One of the other fantastic aspects of the event was getting to meat some inspiring and amazing Pittsburgh Bloggers!  I was so happy to meet Sue of the Tote Bag Project,  Emily, Becky, and Caitlin!  Emily is running an amazing giveaway related to our BlogMob event!  Visit her page here, and you could win a 60 minute coaching session on a topic of your choice!! 

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5 Responses to “Hunger Action Month- Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank #BlogMob”

  1. Rachel Schneider September 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    It was such a pleasure to meet your BlogMob group and discuss the importance of the role of government in helping to feed people in need. All of you wrote such wonderfully moving paper plate messages for our project – thanks so much! We hope you will all come to visit us at the Food Bank again some time soon, and remain involved in the fight against hunger!

    • BeezusKiddo September 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

      Thanks so much for having us there, Rachel! It was such an inspiring event! Keep up the great work 🙂

  2. lomseedsofhope September 17, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Incredible pictures! I love the mural and it is shocking to see the amount of food needed in this community. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Kimberly
    Chief Seed Sower

    Light of Mine
    Seeds of Hope
    http://www.lightofminetees.com

  3. Caitlin September 19, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    It was so nice to meet you guys! I learned so much – it was an incredible experience.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Let’s End Hunger Now: #BlogMob #Hunger | 'lil Burghers - September 17, 2012

    […] action. I hope this has inspired you. If you want to hear more about the night, go visit Emily, Elizabeth, or Lou (he wasn’t able to attend, but was still uber-inspired and interacted in our tweets, […]

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