Lisa Scales has worked in food banks for nearly 25 years. She was involved in food distribution efforts in response to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and to the 9/11 attacks in New York.
She has never experienced anything like the need associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have never seen a spike in need to this degree,” said Scales, president and CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. “I have never seen need like we’ve seen in the past several weeks in the Pittsburgh region and frankly across the country.”
Scales is facing a harsh reality that the current need for food is greater than the food bank’s supply can meet.
So far, the food bank has held four large-scale, drive-up distributions and served boxes of food to over 5,000 cars. It has more distributions planned and is developing other methods of getting food into the community. But Scales believes that in the midst of the covid-19 crisis, the food bank has met its match.
“It’s hard for me to say this, but the need is so significant that, despite our best efforts, I know that we will not be able to meet all of the need that’s in the community throughout the entirety of the crisis,” Scales said.