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Food Assistance

food assistance

Several food assistance resources are available for you and your family during the coronavirus crisis. See the list below for several locations offering food distribution, free meals, and more. Also check out this list of Allegheny County free food distribution sites.

Resource Categories:
Food Assistance (General)
Food Resources for Children & Families
Take-Out Options
Grocery Shopping

FOOD ASSISTANCE:

(Updated 3/24/20)

  • Anyone who is currently out of work due to COVID-19 and currently has NO income is eligible for SFPP (State Food Purchase Program) and TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) using this self-declaration of need form. On the self-declaration of need form, they can simply circle $0 as they have no income. However, they should be advised that if/when their income resumes, they would need to fill out new paperwork and declare that if they intend to continue to obtain food through these programs.
    • Similarly, anyone who has lost hours, etc. because of COVID-19 and has a reduced income may be eligible for SFPP and TEFAP. On the self-declaration of need form, they should circle the income level that currently reflects their new (and potentially temporary) circumstances. As noted above, once income picks back up, they would need to fill out new paperwork and declare that if they intend to continue to obtain food through these programs.
  • Apply for Food Stamps (SNAP) & get answers about eligibility
  • WIC (Women, Infants, Children)
    • Several offices are currently closed: Turtle Creek, Clairton, McKees Rocks, and Noblestown. Families who visit these offices will be contacted by someone from outside their office for appointments. All other offices have staff answering phones.

    • FOR FAMILIES WHO ARE ALREADY ENROLLED AND HAVE AN EWIC CARD: All scheduled WIC appointments are still occurring as scheduled but families are NOT to go to their office. There are no in-person appointments. WIC staff will be calling families at their scheduled time to complete their appointment over the phone. Once the family answers all questions over the phone, they will be given a date that they can go to a particular WIC location (5 in Allegheny Co currently). These 5 locations were chosen because all staff is behind glass and it allows families to avoid all physical contact with staff. Once they arrive at their designated WIC location, families simply need to insert their eWIC card into the reader and their card will be reloaded. The entire interaction is expected to take 1-3 minutes. eWIC cards can be used as they normally are.

    • FOR FAMILIES WHO NEED TO APPLY TO WIC OR ARE ON WIC WAITING LISTS: WIC is not currently enrolling any new families. However, they are currently developing a telehealth-type visit that meets federal guidelines for enrollment. Currently Allegheny County does not have the technology or training for their staff to complete these virtual visits. Ultimately, they will be completed via Zoom. The state is currently working on getting equipment and training for Allegheny Co WIC workers. In the meantime, state workers are being trained to complete intakes via Zoom. In the near future, the state will be completing these intakes until Allegheny Co is equipped to do so. WIC STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THAT FAMILIES APPLY ASAP AS ENROLLMENTS WILL START AGAIN SOON. The state is filtering through applications and families will be contacted in order of priority once the state is able to start Zoom visits. Families will need access to a computer with internet or smart phone that is able to accommodate the Zoom app in order to complete their intake appointment. After intake, the family will be provided an eWIC card and can complete telephone WIC appointments following the procedure described above.

    • FOR FAMILIES WAITING FOR WIC WHO NEED FORMULA NOW: Chartwell is providing formula to families and will deliver formula to the family’s home within 5 hours of approval. FAMILIES NEED A DOCTOR’S SCRIPT FOR THEIR FORMULA IN ORDER TO QUALIFY. FAMILIES MUST CONTACT THE CHILD’S PCP IMMEDIATELY TO ARRANGE THIS. Scripts should be faxed to 412-920-2830. Once the script is received, Chartwell will run the patient’s insurance. Each plan is providing a different level of coverage anywhere from no cost, to copay, to no coverage at all. After the coverage is determined Chartwell will contact the family by phone to discuss the cost. If the family agrees to the cost of the formula, then the order for formula will be placed and Chartwell will deliver formula to the family’s home within 5 hours. Chartwell is operating 7 days/week. This is for any type of formula, not just special formulas that cannot be purchased in the store.

      • There have been issues with some families being unable to afford formula through Chartwell or being unable to find the formula they need in stores due to limited availability. Much of the formula has already been purchased and stores are suffering from panic buying. If families cannot find their required formula they should contact their PCP to see if they have formula in office and/or contact the manufacturer (Enfamil, Similac, Gerber, etc) to see if they can provide some formula for free or low-cost.

         

Food Distribution
  • JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry – open and continuing to serve 15217 and families that eat Kosher outside the area code. Individuals receive pre-bagged foods when they come to the pantry. Contact 412-421-2708 for more information
    • The JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry’s critical needs social workers are available to help residents in the Greater Pittsburgh area connect to resources and support. Contact 412-422-7200 to connect with a social worker
  • South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) – Pantry open regular hours; distributing pre-packed boxes of groceries. See site for program updates, or for emergency food, please contact Molly Penderville at (412) 854-9120 ext. 108 or mpatterson@shimcares.org
  • Southwest PA Meals On Wheels – home meal delivery for people aged 60+ or those of any age that are younger if recovering from injury, illness, or surgery
  • Age Well Pittsburgh
    • Now offering Meals to Go: Meal pickups will be drive-through only, between 11 am and 2 pm Mondays and Wednesdays at the Darlington entrance of the JCC Kaufmann Building, 5738 Darlington Road, Squirrel Hill, beginning Monday, March 23.
    • On Mondays, we will be providing one hot and one cold meal – covering two days. On Wednesdays, we will be providing one hot and two cold meals – covering three days.
    • Those who are picking up are not to get out of their vehicles. Participants may pick up for a registered spouse but not for friends. If a senior is unable to pick up meals, please contact Home Delivered Meals at 412-350-5460 or Senior Line 412-350-5460 or 1-800-344-4319 (Toll-free)
    • Participants must call into our lunch line at 412-567-1715 by 8 pm the night before the Monday or Wednesday pickup to reserve each week. Please leave your name (and spouse if picking up for them), and if you will be picking up Monday and/or Wednesday.
    • If you have questions, please leave a message on the on the lunch reservation line, 412-567-1715, and we will call you back. *We regret that we are unable to accommodate walk-ins or to register new clients at this time.

 

FOOD RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES:

  • Pittsburgh Public Schools (UPDATED 03/24/20) – Grab & Go lunches for students are available for students in 29 locations around the city.  Please check the website for updates. **Some locations are closed due to the risk of coronavirus exposure. Find the next nearest location to you. Meals will also be provided at these locations:
    • Meals will be distributed between 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Multiple meals will be distributed on Tuesday and Friday.

  • Woodland Hills School District (UPDATED 03/24/20) – Students may receive GRAB and GO Breakfast and Lunch Monday through Friday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the following locations:
    • District Administration Building located at 531 Jones Ave North Braddock PA 15104; Meals will be distributed to students at the side entrance located next to the parking lot.
    • Rankin School located at 235 Fourth Ave Rankin PA 15104; Meals will be distributed at the front entrance of the building.
    • Woodland Hills Intermediate School located at 7600 Evans Ave Swissvale PA 15218; Meals will be distributed to students from door #2 located to the right of the entrance ramp to the school.
    • Turtle Creek El Steam Academy located at 126 Monroeville Ave Turtle Creek PA 15145; Meals will be distributed to students from door #2 located at the driveway to the right of the front entrance to the school where parents presently pick up and drop off their students.
    • Propel Braddock Hills Elementary School – 10 AM to 12PM, Mondays and Thursdays. Breakfast and Lunch, three days at a time.
    • Students may receive meals at the location that is most convenient to their home. Recipients will get one lunch and one breakfast at the same time, plus additional meals for the weekend on Fridays. The meals are intended to be GRAB and GO.  The facilities will not be open to use as a place to eat the meals.
    • As of 3/23/2020 the State of Pennsylvania stipulates that students need to be present to receive the meal(s). If this changes we will update ASAP
  • Carlynton School District Meal Distribution (UPDATED 3/24/20)
    • Meal distribution will begin Tuesday, March 17, 2020, from 10 am to 11 am at Carnegie Elementary School and Carnegie Borough Building, and from 11 am to 12 noon at Crafton Elementary School.

 

TAKE-OUT OPTIONS:

Restaurants have closed their dining rooms but are offering take-out meals and delivery. (Updated 3/24/20)

  • Pittsburgh Magazine is updating this list daily
  • Pittsburgh City Paper is updating this list daily
  • Good Food Pittsburgh also has a list
Restaurant Free Meals for Kids & Families
  • Piada Restaurant, 3600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213: K-12 students who depend on our school systems for lunch – a free kid’s pasta with sauce, cheese and a fountain drink; Monday – Friday (March 16 – April 3), during lunch hours of 10:45am – 1:00pm to students affected
  • Lelulo’s Pizzeria, 311 Unity Trestle Road, Plum: Tuesday-Friday, 11am-2pm. Pizza, salad, 6-inch sub chicken tenders and fries. More info here
  • United Presbyterian Church in New Kensington ; 601 Fifth Ave.; Starting Monday, 9-10 a.m. and noon-1 p.m. Grade school and college students can ring a doorbell at the entrance marked No. 3 to pick up a bag of food. No sign-ups required
  • ARNOLD’S TEA – Chef Claudy Pierre; 502 E Ohio St., North Side; 412-322-2494;  From 3 pm to 7 pm, Arnold’s Tea will be offering free hot dinners, one per person, to Pittsburgh Families on the North Side as a pick-up location. He will continue to do this until he runs out of inventory. Check his social media page before going to ensure there is food: https://www.instagram.com/arnoldsteapittsburgh/
  • Peoples Indian Restaurant: Peoples Indian Restaurant is humbly extending a helping hand to its neighbors who may be in need. If you aren’t able to get a meal, or you have a child that you aren’t able to get a meal for, please call us at 412-661-3160 and we will have a to-go lunch box of chicken curry, chick peas, and rice available for you to pick up. Pick up available from 11:30am to 2:30pm Monday through Saturday. Please call ahead so we can minimize contact.

 

GROCERY SHOPPING:

(Updated 3/24/20)