When it comes to non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh, there are so many that are worthy of your well-earned money. I also understand how difficult it can be to narrow down ones you feel passionate about. Last weekend, Mr. Locke and I had the pleasure of attending Farm to Table of Western PA’s For the Love of Pittsburgh local food tasting event. Not only did we sample locally-grown and prepared foods, we learned that non-profit organizations are passionate about getting healthy food into the hands of Pittsburgh residents – that’s something I can definitely support. From teaching kids how to grow their own food to culinary education, here’s five Donation-Worthy Pittsburgh Food Non-Profits you need to know about – now!
- 412 Food Rescue
- Community Kitchen Pittsburgh
- Sankofa Village Community Garden
- North Hills Community Outreach
- Just Harvest
1. 412 Food Rescue
In Allegheny County, 1 in 7 people go hungry. 1 in 7. Let that settle in for a minute. Actually, while it’s settling, 1 in 7 people in the U.S. are hungry.
412 Food Rescue was founded “as a direct response to the disconnect between food waste, hunger and environmental sustainability. Translation: 40% of our food is wasted or thrown out. The organization is working tirelessly to get perfectly good food, that would otherwise be thrown out, into the hands of the hungry.
It has volunteers that will get calls or texts that food is available for pick-up and, once handed over, it will be given to people in need.
How you can donate to 412 Food Rescue – There’s two ways. Become a food donor or donate money via the official website.
2. Community Kitchen Pittsburgh
Community Kitchen Pittsburgh is “a mission-based, multi-faceted food service company.” Its goals include “workforce development, community-engaged social enterprise, and food waste reduction.” All of its food service contracts “directly support our training, providing both the foundation of the curriculum and a way to offset the cost of training and student supports.”
In a nutshell, CK PGH provides culinary-based, on-the-job training and support to individuals with employment barriers. They also love providing food education to Pittsburgh youth and their families. If that wasn’t enough, they provide thousands of daily meals to food-insecure folks in the Pittsburgh community.
How you can donate to Community Kitchen Pittsburgh – You’ve got three easy choices. First, ask to become an Education Volunteer and directly spread the mission of CK PGH. Second, make a monetary donation that will go toward classroom supplies or bus passes. Lastly, and this one is with zero effort, use CK PGH’s Amazon Smile link when shopping online. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price!
3. Sankofa Village Community Garden
If I’m writing about passion for putting healthy, organic food into the hands of Pittsburghers, I must write about Sankofa Village Community Garden. Based out of the Homewood area of Pittsburgh, Vikki Ayanna Jones, CEO & Founder, literally gets her hands dirty along with the local kids. They learn how to grow organic vegetables and, come harvest time, their efforts go straight to their dining tables.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Ms. Jones and her passion is palpable. She adores the local residents and wants to educate the kids so healthy eating habits will be instilled.
4. North Hills Community Outreach
For a few years after college, I lived in the North Hills area of Pittsburgh. Did I know that North Hills Community Outreach existed? Nope. Thw worthy cause would have been a great way to volunteer my extra time.
Here’s the scoop on the organization. It helps struggling families in communities in northern Allegheny County get through difficult times and work toward self-sufficiency. Services include three food pantries and an organic garden, seasonal Sharing Projects, utility assistance, emergency financial help, Education Assistance for nontraditional adults, and WorkAble employment mentoring. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also help with Free Tax Preparation, Ask the Attorney legal consultation, budget coaching and Smart Investments for Women, In Service of Seniors volunteer care giving for seniors, two Free Rides for Seniors shuttles, Transportation Assistance, and much more.
5. Just Harvest
Just Harvest is “a nonprofit organization that reduces hunger through sustainable, long-term approaches that lift up those in need.” It gets at the root causes of hunger by using public policy and programs.” Its mission help reduce poverty and improve food access.
30 years of service in the Allegheny County area has served tens of thousands of low-income residents. It’s also kept food on their tables. Compassion is a big deal to the organization – there’s no need to be ashamed about being hungry.
How You Can Donate to Just Harvest – Have some extra cash or time? Head to its official website to donate either or both.
A giant thanks goes out to Farm to Table PA and For the Love of Pittsburgh! Thank you for opening our eyes and delighting our palettes!