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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Every year, the KDKA-TV Turkey Fund helps up to 45,000 families in need.

Local food pantries say they see the excitement and anticipation grow as the people they help get ready to get their Turkey Fund card.

Jana Thompson, the coordinator at Northside Common Food Pantry for the last 10 years, says folks look forward to receiving their Turkey Fund card.

northside food pantry KDKA Turkey Fund: Food Pantries Look Forward To Handing Out Turkey Fund Cards

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“I’m already announcing every morning when we open, ‘This is the deal, this is what’s going on for the holiday, and this is what it takes,’” Thompson says. “They’re very important to people.”

The pantry, located on Brighton Road, serves about 600 to 800 people a month – providing fresh fruits and vegetables, along with other staples.

“During the holiday season, you’re trying to hold back on what little bit of cash you have, so that maybe you could buy some gifts, so that you can do something other than just get by; and so as you try to push to do something other than just get by, you get a little tighter in your pantry,” Thompson said. “That’s why this is so helpful.”

Since the pantry can only be visited once a month on any Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday, the pantry does things a bit differently.

“No fair way to give the cards out in November, so we’ve always just held on to them and given them out in December,” Thompson said. “This is the first year that they’ve been available where we could have given them out, but we didn’t know that, so we’ll be giving them out in December this year as well.”

Thompson says people donating should know they’re helping more than just families.

“We have lots of solitary adults who are disabled, retired, a lot of people who are just trying to make it on Social Security,” Thompson said.

And the card provides more than a holiday meal.

“They need cash to be able to use to buy things that are not available on their food stamp allotment. That’s what that card did, was it kept him in clean clothes for a year. That’s important,” said Thompson. “It’s so much more than turkeys.”

The Northside Common Food Pantry also provides anyone in the community with fresh produce Tuesdays through Fridays. For more informaton on the Northside Food Pantry, visit their website here.

Your donations help the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank give families in need a happy Thanksgiving. You can make donations at any PNC Bank branch.

Donations of $50 or more made at the branch will be matched by PNC.

You can also send a check to:
KDKA Turkey Fund
P.O. Box Thanks
Pittsburgh PA 15230

Or you can donate online at kdka.com/turkeyfund.