We serve neighbors living on the Northside.

The pantry serves about 1,800 households annually; some, such as seniors on fixed incomes, rely on the pantry throughout the year. Others count on it to just get through a month or two during hard times. To qualify for assistance, a person must show proof of a home address in one of three zip codes: 15212, 15214 or 15233.

1,845 households made up of 9,956 people were served by the Northside Food Pantry in 2012.

1,845 households made up of 9,956 people were served by the Northside Food Pantry in 2012.

About 27 percent of clients served in 2012 were under the age of 18.

About 27 percent of clients served in 2012 were under the age of 18.

About 19 percent of clients served in 2012 were over the age of 60.

About 19 percent of clients served in 2012 were over the age of 60.

40 percent of clients served in 2012 were between the ages of 35 and 59.

40 percent of clients served in 2012 were between the ages of 35 and 59.

45 percent of clients served in 2012 were legally disabled.

45 percent of clients served in 2012 were legally disabled.

The help helps.

As of August 2013, 1,406 households have been served by the pantry. Three visitors to the pantry and one of its volunteers share how the pantry helps our neighbors in need. 

Stretching a fixed income. Ronald Best is 71 years old. A retired custodian, he lives in senior housing in the Central Northside. He receives $896 a month from Social Security. After rent and utilities, he has about $300 leftover each month for food and transportation. He counts on the pantry to help him stretch his budget. "It helps me save on my shopping," he says. He's careful about what he selects at the pantry; he says he doesn't want to waste anything. He looks for the 1-percent milk, eggs, fruit and low-salt canned goods. And the mac-and-cheese, if they have it.

Stretching a fixed income. Ronald Best is 71 years old. A retired custodian, he lives in senior housing in the Central Northside. He receives $896 a month from Social Security. After rent and utilities, he has about $300 leftover each month for food and transportation. He counts on the pantry to help him stretch his budget. "It helps me save on my shopping," he says. He's careful about what he selects at the pantry; he says he doesn't want to waste anything. He looks for the 1-percent milk, eggs, fruit and low-salt canned goods. And the mac-and-cheese, if they have it.

After unemployment runs out. Delari Somerville, 54, worked for Appliance Warehouse on the South Side for 14 years—she cleaned the appliances, stoves, microwaves, for $10 an hour. Eight months ago, she was laid off. "I just came in one day and my time card was gone," she says, adding that they called the workers into the office one by one to deliver the news. She began visiting the pantry only recently, after her unemployment ran out.

After unemployment runs out. Delari Somerville, 54, worked for Appliance Warehouse on the South Side for 14 years—she cleaned the appliances, stoves, microwaves, for $10 an hour. Eight months ago, she was laid off. "I just came in one day and my time card was gone," she says, adding that they called the workers into the office one by one to deliver the news. She began visiting the pantry only recently, after her unemployment ran out.

Roberta Edmon tells the Pittsburgh Foundation about her dietary challenges and how she came to need the help offered by the pantry.

Pantry volunteer Jana Thompson shares stories with the Pittsburgh Foundation about who the pantry helps.