Food Bank Announces Landmark Coalition to Address Childhood Hunger

Sports and Media Coalition to launch January 1, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PA (September 24, 2021) – Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (the Food Bank) has announced a new initiative aimed at ending childhood hunger. The Sports and Media Coalition, a collaboration between local media, as well as the region’s professional, collegiate (D1), high school (WPIAL) and other influential sports organizations will officially launch on January 1, 2022.

The initial goal of the council is to ensure all youth in our region have enough healthy food to eat. Quarterly priorities during year one are:

  • Raise awareness about existing resources to improve children’s food security
  • Work collaboratively to reduce stigmas for kids participating in child nutrition programs
  • Work collaboratively to promote health eating and physical activities for kids
  • Advocate to elected officials for strong child nutrition policies

“The opportunity to bring together our region’s sports and media leaders has been something I’ve desired for a long time,” said Brian Gulish, vice president of marketing and communications for the Food Bank. “We have great individual relationships with everyone on the coalition and I’ve always thought there was a way to get them together on the same team given the right mission. Sports and media are two of the main pillars which our great city and region are founded on.”

The coalition consists of senior level leadership from more than 20 local media and sports entities.

“The timing, along with identifying a unified cause for a group like this to support, has always been the biggest question,” said Gulish. “The current awareness for the Food Bank’s mission, the support we have had the past 18 months during the pandemic from everyone on this coalition and the fact that one in five children in Southwestern Pennsylvania are food insecure was why we decided now was the time to make this happen.”

“It’s great to see so many of the key players in the Pittsburgh sports and media communities unite to ensure our region’s youth have enough healthy food to eat,” SportsPITTSBURGH Executive Director Jennifer Hawkins said. “Sports are the heart of Pittsburgh, and as we’ve seen before, our region shines brightest when we all work together.

“I would like to thank the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for forming this new coalition, and I look forward to working with the council in 2022.”

According to Feeding America, an estimated 96,000 children in the Food Bank’s 11-county service area do not have access to sufficient food, or food of an adequate quality to meet basic needs.

“We have an amazing childhood nutrition team that manages numerous initiatives and partnerships with dozens of organizations in the three rivers region,” said Gulish. “This council will help ensure that work expands to serve more youth and their families, and to also increase the collaboration of the entire community to support and work with the Food Bank to reach our goals.”

The Sports and Media Coalition convened for an introduction and confirmation of participation meeting on Wednesday, September 21. The Council will formally commence on January 1, 2022.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Sports and Media Coalition Members:

  • Amy Scheuneman, Executive Director – WPIAL
  • Bob Grove, Vice President of Communications – Comcast
  • Chris Cotugno, Vice President & General Manager - KDKA
  • Chris King, Vice President & Director of Athletics – Robert Morris University
  • Christian Spears, Deputy Athletic Director & COO – University of Pittsburgh
  • Chuck Wolfertz, President & General Manager – WTAE
  • Dali Kovacevic, COO – DK Pittsburgh Sports
  • Evan Rosenberg, Market President & Publisher – Pittsburgh Business Times
  • Jacque Skowvron, Executive Director – Pirates Charities
  • Jennifer Bertetto, President & CEO – Pittsburgh Tribune Review
  • Jennifer Hawkins, Executive Director – SportsPITTSBURGH
  • Kevin Acklin, COO & General Counsel – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Kevin Hayes, Vice President & General Manager – WPXI
  • Megan Jahrling, Associate Athletic Director & External Affairs – Duquesne University
  • Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President & Market Manager – Audacy
  • Ryan Huzjak, Vice President Sales & Marketing – Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Shawn McClintock, Vice President & General Manager – AT&T Sportsnet
  • Tim McAleer, Region President – iHeart
  • Troy Schooley, CEO – PR3
  • Vic Gregovits, President – Pittsburgh Riverhounds

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About Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is a nonprofit organization that distributes food for nearly 45 million meals annually across 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania through a network of more than 850 agencies, partners and programs. The Food Bank was founded in 1980 and is a member of Feeding America, the leading domestic hunger-relief charity in the U.S. For more information on hunger in our region or how to get involved, visit pittsburghfoodbank.org.

Contact
Brian Gulish
Vice President, Marketing & Communications Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
412-443-7987 | bgulish@pittsburghfoodbank.org

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