Gardening season is finally here! After a winter like we’ve had, sometimes we can get a little carried away with our gardens, planting more than we can actually eat. This extra produce from your garden can go a long way to help the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank provide fresh produce to people in need. Here in Allegheny County alone, 153,092 people are living in poverty, 41,697 of which are children.
Through our Community Harvest program, gardeners are able to donate their extra produce directly to a Food Pantry or Soup Kitchen in your own community.Gardeners can participate in our Community Harvest program by growing an extra row of produce, or by collecting excess produce to donate.
To locate an agency (food pantry or soup kitchen) in your community to donate to, go to www.pittsburghfoodbank.org/FindAnAgency. Enter your zip code to find a food pantry or soup kitchen near you that accepts donations of fresh produce!
- Call the agency and let them know you have a donation so they can
prepare for your produce!
- Be sure to tell the agency that you are donating through the Community Harvest program
- Make sure all produce donations have at least 3-5 days of shelf life
- Use good hygiene practices when harvesting and handling fresh produce
- Use a tarp when transporting produce in your vehicle
Another great way to get involved with the Food Bank is by volunteering as a gleaner. Our gleaning program rescues fresh produce from area farms. We distribute this produce through our network of over 400 member agencies and through our monthly Produce to People programs. Gleaning volunteers get a chance to experience a working farm, while also helping to provide fresh produce to people in need. To get involved with the gleaning program, sign up to receive glean alerts at www.pittsburghfoodbank.org/glean. Gleans take place weekdays and weekends, June - November. Maximum 3 hour commitment. The Food Bank provides training, tools, water and snacks - all you need is transportation. Children age 7 and up are welcome with a guardian!
Jeralyn Beach is the Produce Coordinator at GPCFB. She coordinates the procurement of fresh produce for our member agencies and oversees the Community Harvest, Farmers’ Market Connection and Gleaning programs. She is also active with the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council and the Lawrenceville Farmers’ Market. You can learn more about the GPCFB's Community Harvest Program on the Food Bank's website.
Contact Jeralyn at:
412-460-3663 X. 214