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Celebrating Pittsburgh: 412 Food Rescue

PITTSBURGH — All week we’ve celebrated Pittsburgh and the great things people are doing to make our home a better place.

During this pandemic, we’ve seen nonprofits and businesses step up, one of those being 412 Food Rescue. It is helping get food into the hands of those at high risk for getting COVID-19.

Box after box filled with fresh vegetables were packed into cars of volunteers Thursday afternoon. The food would go to waste if it wasn't for the nonprofit 412 Food Rescue.

“More than 40 percent of the food that’s produced within our country ends up going to waste and ends up reaching the landfill,” said 412 Food Rescue Chief Operating Officer David Primm.

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Primm said for the past five years, with the help of thousands of volunteers and businesses, 412 Food Rescue takes the food and gets it to other nonprofits that deliver it to those who need it most, such as senior citizens at high risk for the virus and on fixed incomes.

“Our number one concern is for a fresh, fresh produce,” said Wesley Family Service Volunteer Coordinator Tamra Birchfield. “That’s what the requests have been because the food pantries are often able to give canned foods, but we have many people who are diabetic, who have food limitations and need fresh product, so this is helping them stay healthy.”

Mia Rosenfeld, 22, volunteers for both groups after being laid off in March. She says it doesn’t take much time to make a difference.

“The need for food, the need for connection, like, all of these things exist,” said Rosenfeld. “Like the basis of all of our lives, and so to be able to provide that for other people is really important, especially now.”

As we continue to navigate through these changing times, 412 Food Rescue says it’s been able to save 10 million pounds of food. 

“So, I would say that you know what makes Pittsburgh great is just recognizing that we’re in unprecedented times,” said Primm. “But we’re pulling together to really help those who are in need.”

412 Food Rescue uses an app that allows volunteers to see where food needs picked up and dropped off. It’s easy to get involved with, you just download the app.

If you need food assistance, you can reach out to your local food pantry or get connected through 211 (CLICK HERE).