South Hills Interfaith Movement

Harry Funk/The Almanac

The South Hills Interfaith Movement location in Bethel Park

The table was set, so to speak, for South Hills Interfaith Movement’s pantry-replenishing “March to Sack Hunger, Pack Hope” efforts to take place throughout the appropriately named month.

“This year, we’ve consolidated it into a one-month time frame, and that’s really to express the urgency of action,” SHIM executive director Jim Guffey explained as the annual drive started in earnest.

The urgency remains, of course. And along with practically everything else, SHIM has had to modify operations because of concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As such, a scheduled “Sack Hunger Pantry Challenge” no longer will take place. The intent was to have families make meals using typical items in food pantries – dried lentils and beans, rice and canned goods, for example – and then share their experiences on social media.

Instead, SHIM is encouraging people to help restock the nonprofit’s three food pantries, in Bethel Park, Baldwin Borough and Whitehall, in a #RestockOurPantryChallenge.

For now, only monetary donations are being encouraged, in order to protect the health and safety of the public. Anyone who wants to make a donation can visit

In the meantime, assistance through the food pantry and with utility and financial issues will continue in a modified capacity. The SHIM Center in Bethel Park will be closed to the public until further notice, and the SHIM Family Center will be closed until April 14.

SHIM’s staff will be working remotely and answering calls and emails in a timely manner.

If you have any questions, call the main office at 412-854-9120 and select the extension for the appropriate staff person.

Anyone in need of immediate assistance can contact United Way’s PA 2-1-1 Southwest by dialing 2-1-1, texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or visiting

For detailed information about SHIM’s modified programs, visit

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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