Pittsburgh International Airport Will Host Emergency Drive-Up Food Distribution

Boxes of food are distributed by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, at a drive thru distribution near PPG Arena in downtown Pittsburgh, Friday, April 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

By Cassandra Stone

April 21, 2020

“It will be one of our largest distributions to date,” said Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank CEO Lisa Scales.

The Pittsburgh International Airport and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank are joining together for an emergency drive-up food distribution event taking place Wednesday, April 22, in the airport parking lots. Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., the airport and the food bank will serve as many as 1,500 vehicles with food.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank CEO Lisa Scales said earlier this month that keeping up with supply and maintaining staff and volunteers throughout the pandemic has been a challenge. The number of people the food bank serves has increased “five-fold,” she told CNN, and that traffic at recent events has been difficult to navigate.

“The airport is an ideal location,” Scales said. “It will be one of our largest distributions to date. Based on logistics, this is hopefully going to be one of our easiest and smoothest distributions.”

During the last drive-up event outside the PPG Paints Arena on April 10, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank provided 65,000 pounds of food to 1,300 vehicles. Through the first six previous emergency food distributions, the food bank assisted more than 7,300 vehicles, handing out nearly 400,000 pounds of food, according to the food bank’s website.

RELATED: A Pittsburgh Charity Gave Away Food on Friday. The Line Was a Mile Long.

“Pittsburgh Airport is an integral part of the community. Our facilities will always be used to help the region—and now, with traffic down and large, quiet spaces available, we are finding new ways to serve,” Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis told Patch.com. “We are proud to partner with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for this event and we look forward to assisting those in need.”

For those planning to attend tomorrow’s event, cars are permitted to arrive after 10 a.m. Allegheny County Police will be on hand to direct traffic. Only those attending the event in a vehicle will be served; walk-ups are prohibited.

Each car will receive two boxes of food containing approximately 50 pounds of food each, regardless of the number of families or groups in the vehicle.

Individuals or families who need food assistance but do not have access to a vehicle can go to pittsburghfoodbank.org/gethelp for information about food pantries, meals for children and SNAP (food stamps) application assistance. For more information about future food assistance events, visit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s emergency distributions page.

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