Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NUMBER OF FOOD BANK CLIENTS ON THE RISE Series: MAPPING HUNGER / A LOOK AT PITTSBURGH'S FOOD DESERTS

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NUMBER OF FOOD BANK CLIENTS ON THE RISE Series: MAPPING HUNGER / A LOOK AT PITTSBURGH'S FOOD DESERTS

Article excerpt

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank supports more than 300 pantries in 11 counties. A team is assigned to work with food desert areas like Sharpsburg.

The food bank focuses on 14 neighborhoods with census tracts that have high percentages of low-income residents. They record serving 4,349 people in these areas, including 1,260 children, 736 seniors and 180 veterans.

In a 2014 study specifically on Pennsylvania food banks, Feeding America said 52.1 percent reported an increase in use from 2012 to 2013. In Pittsburgh, the food bank said over the past year, it served 121,432 individuals on average each month. In 2007, it served on average 94,000 individuals each month.

Restricted hours, income eligibility guidelines and residence requirements are not prohibitive, if someone knows he'll need food ahead. If his pantry is closed, the food bank has more than 20 emergency food pantry locations.

Hours of assistance vary by pantry. The best way to get 24-hour assistance is to call the United Way's 211 line. …

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