December 26, 2022

Donation Day Food Drive Returns to the Zoo, Offers Free Admission


The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, in cooperation with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, is hosting its second annual Donation Day on Thursday, December 29, 2022.  Visitors to the Zoo will enjoy free daytime admission with the donation of non-perishable items, such as canned goods and dry goods, to support Southwestern Pennsylvanians who face food insecurity during the winter months.

 Donation Day is a work of gratitude and appreciation; a way to both give to the community and say thank you for supporting the Zoo and neighbors in need. During the Zoo’s first Donation Day in December 2021, nearly 6,000 guests brought a total of 9,029 lbs. (around 4.5 tons) of food. Both organizations hope to continue with that generosity this year.

“This event was a success in 2021, we have been looking forward to bringing it back and helping our neighbors,” said Dr. Jeremy Goodman, Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium President and CEO. “We would like to see the community come out and match or exceed our donation totals this year.”

To select the Donation Day date, the Zoo kept an eye on weather predictions for the last week of 2022. The final date settled on Thursday, December 29 due to anticipated warmer weather; a win for Zoo guests and the Food Bank alike.

“It takes a community to feed a community. We’re so grateful to the Pittsburgh Zoo for recognizing the great need and helping to make sure all of our neighbors have enough food to eat,” said Charla Irwin-Buncher, Chief Development Officer for Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Donation items will be collected in the Zoo parking lot during the day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donation Day free admission is not applicable to additional daytime paid programming or Zoo Lights Drive-Thru the night of the 29th. Qualifying items must be non-perishable, shelf stable, and have not yet past their expiration date. No glass items, please.

Items most needed by the Food Bank include:
• Canned fruits packed in 100% juice
• Low sodium/ no salt added canned vegetables
• Low sodium/ no salt added canned beans and soup
• Canned tuna or chicken packed in water
• Whole-grain cereal, oats and pasta
• Peanut butter
• Paper products
• Household items
• Hygiene items
• Items for infants and children
• Items for seniors

More information about the event, including a list of most-needed items, is available here.