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Restaurants help food banks feed clients

August 7, 2018 Digital Media Exclusive

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Shawn Majors, Cranberry Olive Gardenīs general manager, and Doug Snyder, The Lighthouse Foundation director of operations, load donated food into a truck Aug. 7 outside Olive Garden.

Although food drives are especially popular during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, food pantries in the county need donations throughout the year to serve their families.

When donations slow during the summer months, local food banks meet these needs through a variety of sources, including local grocery stores and chain restaurants.

Olive Garden in Cranberry Township has donated more than 62,500 pounds of food to the area since 2005, according to Shawn Majors, the restaurant’s general manager.

Some of that food has gone to The Lighthouse Foundation in Middlesex Township.

Cindy Cipoletti, the foundation’s executive director, said Sheetz, LongHorn Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse and Chipotle also donate to the pantry, which serves more than 300 families.

Eligibility to receive food from The Lighthouse Foundation isn’t set in stone, according to Theresa Berryman, The Lighthouse Foundation’s marketing and grant manager. The only requirement to be served, she said, is to “be hungry.”

“Our job is to serve food,” she said. “They’re responsible to be honest and say ‘we need the food.’ We don’t check paychecks.”

The foundation receives most of its food as a partner agency with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, which sources and distributes food to nearly 400 partner agencies in an 11-county service region.

Those interested in donating or volunteering for The Lighthouse Foundation can learn more at https://www.thelighthousepa.org/ or by calling at 724-586-5554.

Read the full story in the Butler Eagle.

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