We asked you on our Instagram account what content you’re looking for right now. So many of you asked how you can help the local community during this strange, difficult time. We’ve also been trying to figure out how to help out, and here’s what we’ve found so far:
Donate to your local food pantries.
Even more people are experiencing food insecurity, and they’ll be relying on food pantries more than ever. Which means that the resources the food pantries have will likely not be enough to meet the need. The best way to help is by donating money.
If you’re not sure where to donate, consider the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, or a more local food pantry like SHIM. The South Hills Interfaith Movement has three food pantries which, in 2019, provided more than 500,000 pounds of food to more than 3,500 people, 35% of which were children. They adjusted their Sack Hunger event and are now hosting a #RestockOurPantry instead. Click here to donate.
Another way to get involved is through 412 Food Rescue. They’re helping food retailers give food that would otherwise be thrown away to people who need it. If you had to cancel an event but will receive the food anyway, 412 Food Rescue can help redistribute it.
Donate to other local non-profits.
You can also consider donating to other local non-profits. You can read about a few of our favorites here, but remember that there are other needs to meet besides feeding people. Think about the things you would need in a time of uncertainty, and research if there’s a non-profit helping fill that need.
The number of blood donors has already been on the decline, and a pandemic certainly isn’t going to help that number increase – unless we consciously decide to give blood. Vitalant, previously known as Central Blood Bank, is the primary blood provider for the hospitals in the Allegheny Health Network and UPMC Health System. Currently, blood donors are only giving half of the blood needed for Pittsburgh hospitals. Which means we’re relying on blood from other cities to help people who have experienced serious accidents or injuries, newborn babies, and patients being treated for cancer who need platelets. Donating is easy – click here to schedule an appointment.
Limit your exposure by batching errands.
It’s important to limit your exposure to attempt to prevent yourself and others from getting sick (which is the whole point of social distancing, obviously). But, we are all going to have to go out for groceries, gas, toiletries, and other essentials. One way you can run your errands but still limit your out-of-home time is to go to a one-stop-shop.
American Natural is one of our favorite spots when we need a little of everything…almost like if Sheetz and Panera had a baby. We can stock up on some essentials like produce, beverages (even lattes like Chai, Golden Milk, and Matcha Green Tea!), hand sanitizer (but don’t hoard), and gas. Bonus points: they’re currently offering a mitt to use when pumping gas so you’re not touching the same pump everyone else just touched. And they have hot foods, like tacos and mac and cheese. Protip: get the chicken bacon ranch taco. They’re also offering call ahead options for people who are at-risk, like the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, so their items can be ready and delivered to their car.
Support local businesses.
Finally, we’ve all seen the infographics going around social media. Buy gift cards to use later. Leave a good online review for your favorite businesses. Shop online from local boutiques. Order takeout and delivery from the restaurants that are still open – we have a list for you here! You can even stream virtual workouts with local gyms and studios…get all the info here.
If you know of another way we can all help the community, please let us know! Post it in the comments or reach out to us on Instagram @madeinpgh and we’ll share it.This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.