Nurturing & Nutrition at the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry

On Sunday, JF&CS’s Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry (SHCFP) revealed our dazzling new Tribute Wall, created by internationally known local artist James Simon. The Tribute Wall recognizes the donors who have helped SHCFP fulfill its mission through their generous financial support and aims to nurture hope in the hearts of those who rely on us for assistance. We hope you’ll visit the SHCFP Facebook page to view photos from the reveal at our community Open House! Click here to browse photos.

And we have even more exciting news to share with you on behalf of SHCFP! In cooperation with Repair the World: Pittsburgh and NCJW Pittsburgh Section, SHCFP recently launched a new volunteer garden in Squirrel Hill.

The Squirrel Hill Produce to Pantry Volunteer Garden, located in the backyard of Anathan House at 1640 Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill, broke ground in early spring and provides fresh, locally-grown produce for clients at SHCFP. Volunteers from Repair the World: Pittsburgh have assisted SHCFP staff members in all areas of garden operations, from breaking ground and planting produce to community outreach and volunteer coordination and preparing for the garden’s first harvests. To date, volunteers have planted and cultivated produce including green beans, tomatoes and other seasonal vegetables, which will all be distributed to clients at SHCFP along with their regular groceries.

“Part of SHCFP’s mission is to ensure our clients have access to fresh, nutritious healthy foods, and the new garden is a wonderful way of continuing and sustaining our efforts,” said Matthew Bolton, director of SHCFP. “Even though individuals in our community may be food-insecure and rely on our services for help, we make sure they don’t have to make nutritional sacrifices.”

Since its inception, SHCFP has worked to ensure that healthy food options are available for everyone. In many cases, healthy eating does cost families more and for low-income families struggling to provide adequate food, fruits and vegetables are often out of reach — which is why SHCFP not only supplies an extensive array of non-perishable food items, but also fresh produce, such as lettuce, potatoes, apples and more, as well as freshly-baked breads.

While the Squirrel Hill Produce to Pantry Volunteer Garden‘s primary purpose is providing fresh, nutritious produce for clients at SHCFP, the garden also offers numerous volunteer opportunities for community members and organizations and will additionally provide community education opportunities related to SHCFP’s work and mission.

“The Squirrel Hill volunteer garden truly showcases the tremendous spirit of volunteerism in Pittsburgh, and the commitment of SHCFP, our volunteers and our community partners to provide for our neighbors in need,” Matthew said. “Our overall goal is to ensure food security for everyone, and we can only fully do so with the support of our entire community.”

In addition to meeting the nutritional needs of those who are food-insecure in the 15217 zip code, SHCFP meets the needs of individuals and families who keep kosher homes outside of the 15217 zip code area and qualify for food assistance, as well as those with gluten-free needs or those who live in surrounding communities and are in need of emergency food.

To learn more about the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry, please visit www.sqfoodpantry.org. If you are interested in learning more about the Squirrel Hill Produce to Pantry Volunteer Garden, donating or volunteering with SHCFP, please contact Kathy Poth, Pantry Coordinator, at 412-422-2708 or by email at kpoth@sqfoodpantry.org.

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