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$1.5 million gift to our Pantry fights hunger, helps to meet growing need

You may have read recently in the Pittsburgh Business Times, The Jewish Chronicle or Pittsburgh Tribune-Review some wonderful news about our Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry (SHCFP).

I’m thrilled to share that Eric C. Cooper & Naomi Weisberg Siegel, staunch Pantry volunteers and financial supporters since 2003, pledged to fight hunger in our community with a $1.5 million endowment to the SHCFP. Their commitment marks the lead gift to the SHCFP Endowment Campaign, initiated to support the Pantry’s Nov. 1, 2010 move and expansion.

The Cooper-Siegel family’s heartwarming, generous support greatly impacts our ability to meet a growing need. Over the last five years, the SHCFP saw an 85 percent increase in the number of people turning to us for help, with a distressing 30 percent growth just last year alone. Many new clients are working families with children that are asking for help for the first time.

In Squirrel Hill, there are more than 2,000 people living in poverty, including working families, senior citizens, people with disabilities and the unemployed. In 2010, the SHCFP served 1,083 individuals in 521 households with emergency and supplemental food, direct social service and resource coordination. With our expansion, we hope to reach those eligible for food assistance in the 15217 zip code area who are not already seeking help. We don’t ever want to turn away anyone that needs us.

If you need help, want to volunteer or would like to make a contribution, please call 412.421.2708 or visit us online at www.sqfoodpantry.org. And, help us spread the word about the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry. Hunger shouldn’t be an option.