December 19, 2023

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


The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, in cooperation with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, is hosting its annual Donation Day on Wednesday, December 27. 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 neighbors across southwestern Pennsylvania facing food insecurity.

Donation Day focuses on gratitude and appreciation, offering an opportunity to give to the community and say thank you for supporting the Zoo and our neighbors in need. In 2022, over 4,000 guests came together to donate 5,536 pounds (more than 2.5 tons) of food. Both organizations hope to continue the generosity this year.

“Going into our third annual Donation Day, we hope to see a great turnout. Part of the Zoo’s mission is to inspire our communities to take action, and we’re proud to offer a day for guests to unite and help our neighbors,” said Ron Gruca, Chief Advancement Officer at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium.

Continued inflation and increased food costs are pushing families to make impossible choices. As a result, more families than ever are turning to the Food Bank and our network for help,” said Charla Irwin-Buncher, Chief Development Officer for the Food Bank. “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.”

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. Qualifying items must be non-perishable, shelf stable, and have not yet past their expiration dates. 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 and items needed by the Food Bank and can be found here.