June 20, 2023

Updated: Summer Food Programs Offer Free Meals to Children

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, and City of Pittsburgh Department of Parks and Recreation (CitiParks) are offering summer food programs to provide meals to children at no cost to them or their families while school is not in session.

(This article was updated on June 20, 2023 to reflect the addition of GrubUp!, CitiParks’ 2023 Summer Food Service Program).

UDSA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

What is SFSP?

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally-funded, state-administered program.

The USDA works closely with states to ensure that children who receive on free or reduced-price school meals can get the nutrition they need when schools are closed – whether during summer break or unexpected closures during the school year. Through the USDA’s summer meal programs, approved sites in low-income communities across the country can serve healthy meals and snacks to kids up to age 18 at no cost.

Meals can be eaten in-person at local sites or on-the-go.

How can children participate? 

Find a summer site in your community with the USDA Summer Meal Site Finder mapping tool. Then, simply bring your child to the site nearest to you during meal times (which can be found via the USDA Summer Meal Site Finder).

Parents can also text “Summer Meals” to 914-342-7744 or call 1-866-348-6479 to find participating sites. Pittsburgh meal sites for summer 2023 currently include:

  • Calvary United Methodist Church
    • Location: 971 Beech Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233
    • Free Meals Available: June 26 – 29
    • Hours: Monday – Thursday | 6 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Warren United Methodist Church
    • Location: 2606 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
    • Free Meals Available: June 21 – August 10
    • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday | 12 – 1 p.m.
  • The Bridge at Northview Heights
    • Location: 1500 Chicago Street, Pittsburgh 15214, PA 15214
    • Free Meals Available: June 26 – August 4
    • Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:45 – 9:30 a.m. and 12 – 12:30 p.m.
  • Sheridan United Methodist Church
    • Location: 2948 Chartiers Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15204
    • Free Meals Available: June 20 – August 10
    • Hours: Tuesday and Thursday | 12 – 1 p.m.
  • Trinity AME Zion Church
    • Location: 3105 Allendale Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15204
    • Free Meals Available: June 21 – August 11
    • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday | 12 – 1 p.m.
  • Sto-Rox Library
    • Location: 420 Chartiers Avenue, McKees Rocks, PA 15136
    • Free Meals Available: June 5 – August 10
    • Hours: Monday – Thursday | 1 – 2 p.m. and 4 – 6 p.m.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Summer Youth Café

What is the Summer Youth Café? 

The Summer Youth Café is is a federally-funded child nutrition program that provides healthy meals during the summer.

How can children participate?

Families can search for participating sites with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Find Food Resources mapping tool and bring their child to any participating site during meal times.

Summer Youth Café sites for summer 2023 currently include:

  • LaRosa Youth Club
    • Location: 901 Ravine Street, McKeesport, PA 15132
    • Hours: Daily | 3 – 5 p.m.
  • Safe Passage Mckeesport
    • Location: 1406 Cornell Street, McKeesport, PA 15132
    • Hours: Daily | 3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Northern Area Boys & Girls Club
    • Location: 100 Howard Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15209
    • Hours: Monday – Friday | 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
  • The Learning Hub at the Bridge
    • Location: 1500 Chicago Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15214
    • Hours: Daily | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Valley View Terrace
    • Location: 518 Dawson Street, Canonsburg, PA 15317
    • Free Meals Available: June 12 – August 4
    • Hours: Monday – Friday | 12 – 12:30 p.m.
  • Bentleyville Apartments
    • Location: 507 Old West Road, Bentleyville, PA 15314
    • Free Meals Available: June 12 – August 4
    • Hours: Monday – Friday | 12 – 12:30 p.m.

Additionally, the food bank is partnering with Moniteau, Knoch, and Karns City School Districts to host monthly summer drive-up food distributions. Anyone living within participating school district areas is encouraged to attend. For more information, please view the event flyer.

GrubUp!: CitiParks’ Summer Food Service Program 2023

What is GrubUp!?

GrubUp! is CitiParks Summer Food Service Program. It provides healthy and delicious meals (breakfast, lunch, and/or snack) through eight of Pittsburgh’s recreation centers and 30+ partner locations.

This program will run from June 21 through August 18, and be free to anyone under the age of 18 or residents with intellectual disabilities up to age 21.

CitiParks also partners with the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) Food Service Division to provide the Mobile Food Truck, which will operate in conjunction with our Roving Art Cart every Friday to provide an additional location for Pittsburgh children to receive this valuable service.

This service is made possible by funding from the US Department of Agriculture through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

How can children participate?

To participate, parents and caregivers simply bring their child or children to any of CitiPark’s participating recreation centers or partner locations when meal services are offered. CitiParks offers meals:

  • Ammon Recreation Center
    • Location: 2217 Bedford Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
    • Hours: Monday – Friday, | 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Brookline Recreation Center
    • Location: 1400 Oakridge Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15226
    • Hours: Monday – Friday, | 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Jefferson Recreation Center
    • Location: 605 Rednap Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
    • Hours: Monday – Friday, | 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Magee Recreation Center
    • Location: 745 Greenfield Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15207
    • Hours: Monday – Friday, | 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Ormsby Recreation Center
    • Location: 79 S. 22nd Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
    • Hours: Monday – Friday, | 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Paulson Recreation Center
    • Location: 1201 Paulson Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
    • Hours: Monday – Friday, | 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Phillips Recreation Center
    • Location: 201 Parkfield Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15210
    • Hours: Monday – Friday, | 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Warrington Recreation Center
    • Location: 329 E. Warrington Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15210
    • Hours: Monday – Friday, | 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

To find meal service details, and Summer 2023 partner locations and food service times, view the complete GrupUp! site list.

For additional information please contact CitiParks Food Programs Office at 412.571.3291.

No Kid Hungry Summer Food Program

What is the No Kid Hungry WhatsApp?

The No Kid Hungry WhatsApp campaign gives families an easy to use technology to help families with children find the food they need.

How can children participate?

Families can access the app to get a customized WhatsApp message listing sites in their communities serving free meals for teens and kids under 18.  No registration is needed.

Families can also text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 304-304 to find a site near them, or visit No Kid Hungry’s Free Meal Finder.

Learn More

To learn more, visit the USDA or Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank summer food program webpages.


April 14, 2020

Food Assistance Programs Available in Pennsylvania

Nearly one in seven households with children in the United States of America currently cannot afford to buy enough food for their families. When looking locally, the food insecurity rate in Allegheny County is 13 percent as of 2017. That is more than 161,000 people in the county, including nearly 38,000 children. Elected officials at all levels of government have the ability to enact policies that protect and support child nutrition programs and improve the health and well-being of children and their families. We just have to make sure that they are in office.

How You Can Help

Together, we can create a better future with our votes, advocacy, and support. However, if you are not registered to vote or if your voter registration is not up-to-date, you will miss out on important opportunities to share your voice and elect local, state, and national policymakers. Take this time to check your voter registration and encourage others to do the same!

Another way that you can make sure your voice is heard is by singing the America for Early Ed Pledge to Vote! Our voices and votes can ensure that all children in Pennsylvania receive the food and nutrition services they need to grow up healthy and strong. Will you join us in signing the Pledge?

To learn more about food insecurity in America, view this document by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). For information about available food services, please continue reading below.



Available Resources

If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance during the COVID-19 health crisis, please view the list below for information about available programs and services.

Pennsylvania 2.1.1 Southwest

If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call 2.1.1, text your zip code to 898.211, or visit the Pennsylvania (PA) 2.1.1 website.

PA 2.1.1 Southwest seeks to provide an easy-to-remember phone number and web resource for finding health and human services for everyday needs and in crisis situations, serving the following counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland.

Allegheny County Free Food Distribution Map

For information about free resource distribution sites in Allegheny County, please visit this website. The map includes information about locations with no age restriction, locations that serve children only, PPS Grab and Go locations, and more. View the full map to view other available resource types. 

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank provides information on emergency distributions, applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), accessing a food pantry near you, and more. If visiting a pantry, please call before your visit to confirm that the site’s hours have not changed.

For more information, contact the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank at 412.460.3663. To apply for SNAP, call toll-free at 833.822.7627, text SNAPPA to 555-888, or complete the online referral form.

Just Harvest

Just Harvest continues to provide assistance to community members applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medical Assistance, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, as well as case advocacy and eligibility screenings.

To receive assistance, fill out this form or call 412.431.8960, x602 and state your name, contact info, and the best time to reach you from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Southwest Pennsylvania Meals on Wheels

Southwest Pennsylvania Meals on Wheels provides home meal delivery for people over the age of 60 and to those of any age who are recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery. The program costs seven dollars per day, which provides two meals. A quart of milk is provided once a week. Meals can be provided as many days a week as needed.

Services are available to community members living in the following areas: Beechview, Bridgeville, Carnegie, Cecil, Clinton, Collier Township, Crafton, Dormont, Greentree, Heidelberg, Imperial, Ingram, Mt Lebanon, Oakdale, Robinson Township, Scott Township, South Fayette, Upper St. Clair, and Westwood. To learn more, visit their website!

South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM)

SHIM provides access to their pantry items via pre-packaged boxes. However, shop-thru style pantries are temporarily suspended. All pantry volunteers will implement safe distancing, wear gloves at all times, and sanitize all services.

Services are available to community members in the following school districts: Baldwin-Whitehall, Bethel Park, South Park, Keystone Oaks, Mt. Lebanon, and Upper St. Clair. Visit the SHIM website to learn more about the program and view their pantry hours.

For questions, please contact Molly Penderville at 412.854.9120, x108 or

JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry

The JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry is open and continues to serve community members who have a 15217 zip code and families that eat Kosher in communities outside of the area code. Individuals receive pre-bagged foods when they come into the pantry. Contact 412.421.2708 or visit their website for more information.


March 23, 2020

Senior Center Alternative Meals Available in Pittsburgh

Senior Center alternative meals will be provided to seniors who are currently registered for normal congregate meal service beginning Friday, March 20, 2020. A pre-packaged (likely frozen) meal will be available through the current food distribution providers that are used through the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging program. Seniors who are registered for this program have previously identified as being in need and regularly receive these meals.

Available Locations

Pre-packaged meals will be available for take-out only and will be served between 11:00 a.m. through 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at these City Healthy Active Living (Senior) Centers:

Approximately 100 meals per day will be distributed to registered seniors.

More Information on Senior Center Alternative Meals

Seniors who are not registered for the program but are in need of food or other resources should contact the Allegheny County Area on Aging’s SeniorLine (1.800.344.4319).

Click here to view the City of Pittsburgh’s original press release.

*Information provided by the City of Pittsburgh


March 19, 2020

Four Centers in Pittsburgh Offering Grab and Go Meals

Four city and Salvation Army centers around Pittsburgh will be offering grab-and-go meals for city schoolchildren starting Thursday, March 19, 2020, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Available Locations

The Department of Parks and Recreation has received approval to activate grab-and-go meals at the following four locations:

More Information on Grab-and-go Meals

All meal hand-out operations will commence on weekdays (Monday through Friday) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) will provide 100 grab-and-go lunches for each site. This approach may be re-adjusted to respond to actual needs. For more information on COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Resources page here.

Click here to view the City of Pittsburgh’s original press release.

*Information provided by the City of Pittsburgh.


June 3, 2019

Carnegie Library Serving Summer Meals for Children

Beginning June 17, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will offer free summer meals/snacks to Pittsburgh youth on weekdays through August 23.


In summer 2019, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will continue its participation in the Summer Food Service Program in order to ensure even more Pittsburgh youth have access to free food during summer vacation. Meals and activities will be provided during times listed below while supplies last and are for youth ages 18 and younger, and for persons with disabilities up to age 21.

Meals are being offered locally in collaboration with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Pittsburgh CitiParks as part of the federally funded Summer Food Service Program.

Program Schedule

This program is available Monday – Friday at the following locations (unless otherwise specified):

More Information

For questions, contact the Library of Pittsburgh via phone at 412.622.3114.

*Information provided by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh


November 28, 2018

Balancing Your Holiday Plate: Healthy and Fun Ways to Prepare Food Over the Holidays

Families and community members are invited to join Trying Together, Let’s Move Pittsburgh, and Phipps Conservatory in a three-week food demonstration program.

Each session includes a demonstration by Let’s Move Pittsburgh staff on how families can prepare fun, quick, and healthy meals together while using holiday leftovers like turkey, mashed potatoes, and ham. Take this opportunity to get tips on engaging your young children while cooking, learn simple and delicious recipes, and take home free ingredients to try out what you learned! A light dinner will be provided.

For more information, contact Rachelle Duffy via phone (412.421.3889, ext. 113) or email (

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