Dan Savage, The Slog Raise Nearly $30,000 for Food Pantry – Make Sure People KNOW LGBTQ Folks Welcome at Pgh Pantries

I was poking around tonight and found this series of posts on The Slog website.

I love that people can win dinner with Dan Savage for donating to a hunger relief organization. I would donate and I work for a hunger relief organization.

I love that they picked up on the article in Slate about the QUADRUPLE impact of donating money versus food items. I think there are pros to both approaches, but it is a discussion worth having. And a discussion I rarely hear in the LGBTQ community, frankly.

Why not?

The Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force has a food pantry, supported by Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. It is for PATF clients so not exclusive to LGBTQ folks, of course. But it should be a red flag that food insecurity hits our community. That’s why its great that the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh has opened up their doors to accept tote bag donations from Downtown and surrounding areas.  It is great that the GSA at CCAC organized a tote drive, collecting over 200 bags (from students!) It is also great the local openly gay podcast host and grad student Jason Lucarelli is on a quest to collect 500 tote bags as part of his graduate work at Carlow University.

Poverty has a tremendous impact in our community, disproportionately so in the transgender community. You know why — we have tenuous security and protections in our workplaces, lack of domestic partner benefits, economic challenges of finding appropriate health care even with insurance, lack of housing security, lack of a family safety net, safety, etc, etc, etc. There are a lot of reasons why being LGBTQ makes you more vulnerable to hunger than the average American, but there are certainly plenty of reasons why the average American is right here in this boat with us all.

I know some people don’t like Dan Savage and that’s fine. This project was not about the queer community, but it certainly was another good example of sending out the word that there is no stigma to getting involved with a hunger relief project.  If you need help, please go to the Food Bank website and use their tools to find your local food pantry. If you can’t find what you need, call the Food Bank. Call Just Harvest. Call ME! Don’t be hungry in Pittsburgh because you are unsure if LGBTQ folks are welcome or treated fairly.

If you aren’t made to feel welcome and valued, definitely call me. We’ll make it right.

If your LGBTQ and/or allied organization would like to be part of this effort to help feed our neighbors, please consider organizing a tote bag drive (with food!)