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Food banks provide hope for holidays

By Mitch Fryer, Leader Times

1351 days ago   Article ID# 740490
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Pittsburgh Food Bank

PITTSBURGH , PENNSYLVANIA (Leader Times) - The line of people out of work or short on money and who who need food this Thanksgiving stretched into the parking lot of the First Church of God on Tuesday.

The food bank on Woodward Avenue in Kittanning was one of 21 Armstrong County Community Action Agency food bank sites in the county giving out food packages in time for the holiday.

About 240 people signed up to come to the Church of God for food and turkey vouchers.

The program serves about 5,154 people representing 2,479 households in the county and grows each year. Last year that number was 4,775 people from 2,223 households.

In addition, Community Action will provide 2,479 $10 turkey certificates for redemption at local grocery stores this year that its officials say will help give those 5,154 people a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day.

"A lot of people depend on this at Thanksgiving and Christmas," said John Daniel, the volunteer in charge of distribution at the Church of God.

Everyone will get the food they need the agency says, although its officials worry they may come up short on paying the bill.

"We don't have enough money and Thanksgiving is next week," said Kim Pivetta, Community Action community development director.

The state's Department of Agriculture allocated $99,638 to the local food bank in 2009. Pivetta said that's been cut to about $89,000 for this year. The agency has been expecting that money since August which has been tied up in the state budget.

Pivetta said the Pittsburgh Food Bank has been extending them credit until they can get the state funds.

Recently, Community Action accepted a check for $2,822 from the Fort Armstrong Championship Rodeo proceeds to be used to purchase bulk food for the food bank.

As for the $10 turkey distribution program, Pivetta said $12,490 has been raised so far from public donations, about half of the needed $24,790. She said there will be funds coming their way later from the KDKA Turkey Fund Program to make up some of that deficit. Community Action works in conjunction with KDKA.

"These are wonderful programs," Pivetta said of the food bank and turkey distribution. "We see more and more people in need every day because of economic conditions. Working, making minimum wage ó by the time they pay for housing, there's not a whole lot left over to purchase food. That's what these programs are for."

"And the costs keep going up," she added.

Copyright 2014 Leader Times   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1351 days ago   Article ID# 740490

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