The Pittsburgh Foundation

Small and Mighty: Christopher's Kitchen

Amy Garrison (left) and Joan D’Alessandro (right) unload Joan’s cargo of donated food for the families at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Joan is the founder of Christopher’s Kitchen and Amy is a board member. Image by Annie Gensheimer.

The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Small and Mighty program awarded $20,000 to Christopher’s Kitchen in 2021. The organization is dedicated to providing food and drink to those who are in the hospital with their loved ones. 

Christopher’s Kitchen provides food to families caring for admitted children at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The organization has four kitchenettes that are always open to any family in the emergency department of pediatric intensive care unit, so the families do not have to spend the time and money at the hospital’s food options. These kitchenettes are in the hallways of the emergency department. Christopher’s Kitchen also provides grab-and-go foods for similar pantries at the Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center. This Small and Mighty grant will be used to add pantries to new units, partner with 412 Food Rescue to provide hot meals once a week, conduct a survey of families to understand the organization’s impact, implement pantry software to track inventory and costs, and hire consultants to develop strategies to strengthen donor relationships.  

The Small and Mighty grants program focuses on grant seeking for small nonprofits that are meeting basic needs in our region. Since 2016, the program has awarded funding to many nonprofit organizations with budgets of less than $600,000. A list of all Small and Mighty Grantees is on the Foundation’s website.