PITTSBURGH, PA, (October 19, 2020) – The City of Pittsburgh, through the Department of City Planning, released the 2020 Feed Pittsburgh report, a review of the state of food insecurity in the City of Pittsburgh, on World Food Day.
FeedPGH describes the four dimensions of food insecurity based on the United Nation’s 2018 report, identifies 23 Healthy Food Priority Areas in Pittsburgh through extensive mapping, outlines the City's goals to achieve Zero Hunger, and pinpoints key next steps.
"Food insecurity is a pressing issue for our City. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, one out of every five residents lived in food insecurity. Any amount is unacceptable for our community and the need is only greater now,” said Mayor William Peduto. "It is critical that we acknowledge the movement for racial equity that has swept the country over this summer and which has highlighted many of the challenges faced by our Black neighbors.”
Looking at food insecurity mapping, it’s clear that equity plays a crucial role in food security. Although only about 12% of Pittsburgh residents reside in one of the Healthy Food Priority Areas, one in three Black residents live in places that lack in food availability, face barriers in food access, and have high rates of diet-related chronic health diseases.
FeedPGH explores ways to address each of the dimension of food insecurity:
“The information (in FeedPGH) provides a foundational tool for the relationship of food and food insecurity to land use and community in comprehensive and neighborhood planning,” said Andrew Dash, Director of City Planning. “It will serve as a decision support tool for everything from guiding development decisions to determining productive reuse of vacant lots as we work to create a City that focuses on solutions for its most vulnerable residents.”
The City is working with community partners including the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council to address these challenges, recently receiving a Healthy City-County Challenge grant from the Aetna Foundation to engage residents.
"Food is essential to our survival. The level of stress created when you can't meet your basic needs is immense, and feeds into all other areas of one's life, increasing the chance of illness and disease,” says Shelly Danko+Day, Food Policy Planner. “There is not one solution to food insecurity. There need to be multiple actions happening simultaneously to alleviate hunger, while at the same time mitigating the causes of food insecurity.”
The full 2020 FeedPGH report and other materials can be found here.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Food Policy Planner
Director of City Planning