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The 13th Annual Fall Food Drive has begun and runs through November 21st. Tons of food and cash donations will be collected at hundreds of Giant Eagle markets in eleven Western Pennsylvania counties. Iris Valanti of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank said volunteers will often be at stores on the weekends, but there should also be a designated location where shoppers can place their donations anytime. "The other possibility is you can donate cash at the register, but even $2.00 or $5.00 makes a lot of difference to the food bank because of course we buy wholesale and in bulk and we can stretch your $2.00 even further."
Northside Common Ministries’ director Jay Poliziani said they’ve always had to supplement what they get from the Food Bank with help from churches in the area, but demand has increased. "We were seeing about 750 people a month two years ago and now we're seeing closer to 950 people a month. With churches sometimes becoming a little smaller and many of them are also experiencing financial hardships right now, the combination has made it very difficult for us to provide the canned goods and the dried goods we've traditionally had to distribute to folks."
Poliziani urged people to organize food drives at their workplaces or children's schools and daycare centers or to make cash donations toward the purchase of healthy, perishable items like milk and eggs. Contributions may be dropped off at Northside Common Ministries, 1601 Brighton Road.