Food Pantry & Refugee Department in need of winter donations

This time of year I give many gifts to family and friends, but the gifts that give me the greatest pleasure are those to children and families of our Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry and the JF&CS Refugee Department. I know the items donated to these programs have a value far beyond their monetary worth. Please help us bring the light of Chanukah to the families in our community that are struggling to put food on their tables and to refugees who arrive in Pittsburgh with only the clothing they are wearing.

As Chanukah approaches, the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry is in need of new toys for the December Holiday Toy Drive for children of the families who visit the Pantry. We have a need for new, unwrapped toys including:

  • Toys for boys (age groups up to age 12) such as Legos, board games, cars, blocks, action figures, sports equipment, Wii games, or video games
  • Toys for girls (age groups up to age 12) such as Legos, art supplies, board games, action figures, dolls, sports equipment, Wii games, or video games
  • Gender non-specific books, games and puzzles

If you are able to donate any of the above items to the December Holiday Toy Drive, contact Tanya Bielski-Braham at 412.421.2708 or by email at

Many refugee families are arriving to Pittsburgh from tropical climates, and they have never experienced winter as we know it in Pittsburgh. Winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves and blankets are greatly needed and much-appreciated items in helping new arrivals acclimate to the cold winter weather. Any size clothes through adult medium, in good condition, would be welcome.

We also seek specific small household items to help our refugees feel at home in their new apartments. If you find yourself re-decorating your home at any time during the year, please consider donating household items such as pots, pans, glasses and utensils. Your donations will be greatly appreciated and well-used.

Click here to view the flyer detailing donation needs. We are unable to accept items that are not on the list.

To donate to our refugee department, please contact Victoria Werderitch, Refugee Caseworker and Donations Coordinator at 412.904.5977 or by email at

Thank you for helping us to deliver on our promise of providing a better day for anyone who walks through our door. We are so grateful for the many gifts of volunteer time, money and donated items that enable us to provide services to the community. A Happy Chanukah and holiday season to all our wonderful supporters.

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