PITTSBURGH, PA (September 22, 2021) Eighteen months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Pittsburgh Department of Parks & Recreation (Citiparks) has reached an incredible milestone, having distributed one million free meals to eligible children and seniors.
After all community recreation and senior centers closed in March 2020, Citiparks created a new system of Grab n Go food distributions at those locations to ensure that youth and seniors in need had safe access to meals. The Grab n Go model continued even after some locations re-opened in summer 2021. Citiparks has also worked with several organizations such as Parkhurst Dining, Eat’n Park, Salvation Army and many others to arrange for additional meal distributions to those in need.
"With all of our Citiparks' Recreation and Senior centers having been closed from March 2020 until just a few months ago due to the pandemic, it's been a tremendous, collaborative effort to have been able to reach this milestone," Citiparks Director Ross Chapman said. "Every team member had committed themselves to ensuring that children and seniors would have free meals available to them from the onset of the pandemic and worked extremely hard, during a very difficult period, to distribute these meals. Naturally, our community partners, program sponsors, and so many others who stepped-in to provide meals, donations and assist us, afforded us the opportunity to be able to have this kind of impact, and we're all so very appreciative of their support. There is no way that we would have been able to have accomplish this without the full support of Mayor Peduto and his Administration, the residents of Pittsburgh and all of the community advocates who came together on this - it's really incredible. Thank you all!"