Since its inception, our Squirrel Hill Food Pantry has provided a safety net to the hungry and food insecure in our community without regard to race, gender, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability or age. Our goal is to ensure food security and help individuals achieve as much self-sufficiency and independence as possible.
In the past five years, we’ve seen an 85% increase in the number of people who are turning to us for help, with a 30% increase in the last year alone…a painful reminder that no community is unaffected by the havoc the recession and slow economic recovery is wreaking on so many lives.
In order to better serve those who need our help, we are making some significant changes.
Administered by Jewish Family & Children’s Service and a member agency of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, our Pantry will move this week to a new, larger location at 828 Hazelwood Avenue (at the end of Murray Avenue, see map below). We also are adding the word “Community” to our name to reflect better all of the 15217 neighborhoods we serve; we now will be known as the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry.
Along with the address and name updates, we are changing to a client choice pantry. Instead of receiving pre-packed bags, clients will have the freedom to make their own food choice selections just as they would in a grocery store. Click here to read more about the new client choice model.
In our new location we’ll expand our client hours and offer community programs, like how-to workshops on cooking on a budget, job search skills, tax preparation and more.
We remain committed to serving all of our clients in an atmosphere of understanding, dignity and respect. While we have offered social work services for many years, the larger space allows us to provide more comprehensive, on-site help with issues like unemployment, financial difficulties, depression and more. This is especially critical to serving the needs of our working families.
With support from our donors, volunteers, referral sources and partners, we can continue fighting — and one day ending — hunger. Thank you for your ongoing, generous support.
Along with the Pantry, the Jewish Assistance Fund and the JF&CS refugee unit will be relocating to 828 Hazelwood Avenue. This will give the clients of these two important services an opportunity to work even more closely with the Pantry and share resources.
Many members of our community keep kosher, and in our Hazelwood Avenue location, we will provide both non-kosher and kosher food (this allows us to accept all food donations and to stretch our dollars further). The Va’ad HaRabanim of Pittsburgh will continue to advise us with respect to the kosher food certification necessary to serve properly our kosher clients. In addition, because we are the only food pantry in Southwestern Pennsylvania committed to meeting the needs of those who keep kosher homes, we will continue to serve those outside the 15217 zip code area who qualify for food assistance and require kosher food.
828 Hazelwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
To see our work in progress, visit our Facebook page with construction photos.
Our Pantry move in the news
KDKA-TV — Squirrel Hill Food Pantry Moves Into Bigger Home
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — New food pantry opens in Squirrel Hill [online video]
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review — Food pantry to grow in space, ability to help
Pop City — Squirrel Hill Food Pantry offers client choice in new location
Pittsbugh Post-Gazette — Sauce food column
Would you like to learn more about Pantry volunteer opportunities? Contact us if you are interested in helping.