The food pantry hosted by Northside Common Ministries on Brighton Road is the largest pantry in Western Pennsylvania. Each month, they distribute food to over 1,000 families and households in the Northside zip codes. The pantry is set up in a ‘shopping model’ which allows clients to select the items they prefer from whatever is on hand rather than receive a prepacked box. The pantry is open three days a week; families are assigned a week to shop for their monthly allotment.
The pantry has two paid staff – Cynthia is the pantry coordinator and Jay is the executive director of NCM. It runs on the steam of committed volunteers who regularly turn out to do everything from paperwork to cleaning to sorting and more.
One group of volunteers formed an advisory group to focus on increasing donations from the Northside neighborhoods to support our neighbors. The Food Pantry Advisors have their own Facebook page and a Twitter account to keep the community informed about the pantry.
Beginning on Tuesday of this week, the pantry will enter its busiest time of the year. The pantry closes from December 23-January 3 to allow for staff to get some rest and to take care of the behind the scenes repairs and renovations so critical to the dignity of the clients.
Busiest time of the year means 500+ families will pass through the doors over the course of five shopping days. But the shelves are not prepared for them. There is not enough food to ensure their families are well-supplied for a month. There are not many options of what is available.
That’s where the Food Drive Blitz kicks in (pun intended) – from now through Sunday December 20, the Food Pantry Advisors are doing a full court press (mixed metaphor intended) to collect 1000 grocery items and $1000 in donations.
You have five opportunities to show your support.
I hope you will join us in supporting this very important drive. No donation is too small or modest. On behalf of our neighbors, thank you.
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