Fresh Fridays on the Hilltop and Community-Building

 
 
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Fresh Fridays on the Hilltop: Fresh Produce Distribution

In partnership with other Hilltop organizations, Hilltop Alliance launched “Fresh Fridays on the Hilltop” to increase the availability of and access to fresh produce in the Hilltop. In operation since October 2012, the program currently serves approximately 200 families from the 15203, 15210, and 15211 Hilltop zip codes per event. The event occurs every second Friday of the month during April through November at St. John Vianney Parish (823 Climax Street) in Allentown. Distributions are also regularly advertised in the free, weekly-distributed South Pittsburgh Reporter. Please call the United Way at 2-1-1 for immediate food assistance.

 

Why Fresh Fridays Began: Responding to a Community-Based Need

In the fall of 2012, Hilltop Alliance was approached by member groups and community residents about the need for access to fresh produce. To address this need, Hilltop Alliance has worked with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (GPCFB), St. John Vianney Food Pantry, and the Brashear Association to make this event the success that it is.

Today, Fresh Fridays on the Hilltop seeks to fill a most immediate gap in access to fresh produce. Hilltop Alliance is also looking at food insecurity (hunger) in the Hilltop with the GPCFB and evaluating the need for additional farm stands and markets, including tying this effort to and the need for community gardens.

 

How It Works

Qualified households must meet GPCFB criteria of having a household income equal to or less than 150% of the poverty level in order to get free produce - approximately 40 lbs. per family. The program welcomes those receiving unemployment compensation, food stamps, cash assistance or medical assistance, SSI, Social Security Disability, and those who are experiencing a crisis situation, as well as Produce to People and food pantry users.  Additional items such as bread, meat, and dairy products are distributed when they are available from the Food Bank.  This effort is staffed by volunteers from all partner organizations.

In addition to Fresh Fridays, we also partner with the Allentown Community Development Corporation to provide fiscal agent support and technical assistance, with the aim of further developing Hilltop communities.

 

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