Pittsburgh food banks get a bad rep.  I remember the first time I told a friend of mines that I was going to the food bank.  She quick responded, “Why would you do that?”  I expected that response and it wouldn’t be the last time a person would respond that way when I told them I have food from a Pittsburgh food bank.  For whatever reason, people view the food bank as a place to get “bad” food and as only for poor people.  Well it’s time for a reality check.  I’m a middle class mom and get good food from the food bank.

I homeschool my boys and am a stay-at-home mom.  We have to make a lot of tough financial choices in order to maintain this lifestyle and continue to live the way we want to live.  But, going to the food bank isn’t a tough choice, it is a privilege.  Everyday millions of American waste tons of food.  Stores, restaurants and families throw away tons of food.  Pittsburgh food banks should be applauded for preventing the waste of some of that food.  The food banks purchase food from local grocers and distribute it to people like me that need it.  Food from the food bank helps me stretch my regular grocery store foods and decreases the amount of food I need to buy at market prices.  It’s a win-win.  Some food banks have income requirements, but many just ask that you live in the neighborhood and provide the number of people in your household and a valid state id.  That’s it.  So, here are 3 reasons we utilize Pittsburgh food banks.

The Food Bank has FREE Food!

My kids LOVE food bank day.  Sometimes we leave with 2-3 boxes of food.  From pastries, to fruit and veggies, and breakfast meats the food bank gives out FREE quality food.   I can’t count how many times I’ve run out of fresh fruit or needed something quick for breakfast and have been able to pull out a can of peaches I received from the food bank.  Why do I need to say anymore.  I have a family and the food bank has FREE food.  That’s a no-brainer.

The Food Bank is Great for Holidays

I love that the food bank gives out non-perishable food.  During the holidays when I’m making cakes, cookies and all kinds of holiday goodies, those cans of milk come in handy.  I also never have to buy stuffing again.  I literally have enough dressing to stuff about 8 turkeys.  During the holidays many people are donating food to food banks so they always have cakes, cookies and sometimes even turkeys to give away.  When you have an extended family as big as mines, I appreciate the help the food bank provides.

Pittsburgh Food Banks are Easy to Access

Every neighborhood in Pittsburgh has a food bank.  Within 10 miles of my house I have 3 food banks.  They all distribute on various days.  If you are working during the time the food bank distributes food, you can provide your food bank with the name of a relative that can pick-up your food for you.  (This person is known as a proxy.)  Here is a list to help you find your Pittsburgh food bank.

Produce to the People

Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank Listing

Fresh Access via Just Harvest


Categories: Mama Motivation

Cynthia Mendoza

Hello. Welcome to BrownMamas.com a blog for Black moms looking to thrive while raising kids in this hectic world and the headquarters for Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a Pittsburgh support group for Black moms. Here I write about raising my three boys, living in and loving Pittsburgh, dating my husband, gardening and all kinds of other stuff. Thanks for visiting. Stay long & come often!

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