nutrition

John Hamilton / PublicSource

On a recent Friday, James Dreher was hard at work stirring dozens of pounds of ground beef with a small paddle.

Oliver Morrison / PublicSource

It’s 7 a.m. and cafeteria worker Leann Andrews is pushing a cart through the bustling hallways of North Hills Middle School. In the cart sit packages of banana, blueberry, and chocolate muffin next to cereal bars and breakfast sandwiches.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Garisha Peoples stands in the kitchen of her first floor Rankin apartment while preparing a Russet potato for lunch. She cuts off the ends of the fist-sized tuber and then pops it in the microwave.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA


In October 2013, the Hill District held a triumphant groundbreaking: the opening of Shop n’ Save, the neighborhood’s first grocery store in 30 years.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Tazeen Chowdhury gets schoolchildren to eat avocados and edamame.

That bit of miracle-working earned her an invitation to testify this week before a Senate committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. She joined this week to enlighten lawmakers about the tricks she uses to get students in the Mt. Lebanon School District to eat better and healthier both on and off campus.

Chowdhury said students gobble up newer food choices like avocado, kiwi and edamame.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Many people are eager to give back during the holiday season, collecting toys for children in low-income families or serving Christmas dinner at a soup kitchen.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

It’s been nearly two years since a Shop ‘n Save grocery store opened on Centre Avenue in the Hill District. For decades, the neighborhood was considered a food desert, which the federal government defines as an area where residents lack access to healthy, nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

via Flickr

While hunger rates remain high in Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf has issued an executive order to re-commit to the fight against hunger.

Emily Cleath, communications coordinator for Just Harvest, a non-profit advocacy group aimed at ending hunger, said hunger rates in Pennsylvania have not decreased for too long.

Natalie Maynor / Flickr

This week, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced nearly $35 million dollars in funding for grant programs that will support local and regional food systems, including in Pittsburgh. The funds come from the Farm Bill, which allocates $30 million dollars a year for these initiatives.

Pennsylvania is receiving ten of these grants; one, of nearly 100,000 is coming to Pittsburgh. It will go toward Three Rivers Grown LLC, which is an aggregator. They purchase food and connect wholesale buyers and producers so suppliers are ensured a safe supply of regionally produced food.