Feeding America, the national organization of food banks, designates September as Hunger Action Month. People are asked to take some action to alleviate hunger in their own communities at some time over the month, and to help spread awareness all month long. September was chosen because it begins the fall, the busiest season at most food banks.
Fall is indeed the busiest season at Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry (SHCFP), and October, the month of the important Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, is the busiest month.
The High Holidays are steeped in food traditions. Lots of family and feasting. As you prepare to spend time and share food with friends and family, it’s almost impossible not to think about those who experience hunger right here in our community.
All these holidays also emphasize sharing, charity and doing for others. So put the two together, food and helping others, and what do you get? Six great ideas to help the hungry:
- Donate some produce from the Squirrel Hill Farmer’s Market: Volunteers are collecting fresh produce at the Squirrel Hill Farmers Market every Sunday through early November. Buy a few extra items, and help Pantry clients get some healthy food.
- Donate produce from your own garden: Those zucchinis are out there, multiplying overnight, and there’s only so much zucchini one family can eat! Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry would be delighted to have any extra produce from your garden. Call Kathy at 412-421-2708 to arrange a drop-off.
- Volunteer: You can volunteer with your family, your colleagues, just once or once a week. SHCFP is always in need of helping hands. Call Kathy or email her to schedule.
- Have a food drive: Food drive collections are especially great. Not only do they supplement the food supply, but usually food drives produce favorite brands and special items otherwise rarely available.
- Have a high-holiday food drive: As you know, SHCFP is the only kosher food pantry in the region, and the holidays are coming. Help make sure all of your Jewish neighbors are able to honor the holidays with dignity.
- Make a donation to Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry: not everyone has time to volunteer or collect food. But that’s OK because your generous gift will help the Pantry purchase most-needed items, like eggs and peanut butter.
Every effort we make, large or small, to help eliminate hunger in our community helps. Hunger is an uncomplicated issue with an easy solution: feed people in need. The more difficult part is making sure we are providing enough food, and that we are there year-round, any time we are needed. That’s where you come in. The generosity and activism of this community continues to make the difference in maintaining a strong, dependable resource that served nearly 3,000 people last year.
If you have been a supporter of the Pantry in the past, please accept our continuing gratitude. If you should need food assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us. And if you want to honor the holidays by helping others, come join us!