Pittsburgh (March 25, 2020) – In the true spirit of neighbors helping neighbors, Bethel Bakery will donate 180 loaves of fresh-baked Italian and homemade bread to South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) to help feed families who are struggling in the wake of COVID-19. SHIM will hand out the bread at the SHIM Center food pantry tomorrow, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday, March 27, from 2-6 p.m.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, SHIM has been preparing for an increased need for food, personal care items and other vital resources. The organization continues to offer essential programs and services, including their three food pantries and utility assistance, to help people in need get back on their feet. Food insecurity is an especially large concern at this time.
“COVID-19 is already hurting countless people in the South Hills,” said Jim Guffey, executive director of SHIM. “Unfortunately, the weeks and months ahead are likely to be even more challenging, especially for our most vulnerable neighbors.”
After learning about the increased need, Bethel Bakery offered to help by donating bread that will be given to families and individuals who visit SHIM Center’s food pantry this week.
“Many businesses are finding ways to heal and uplift people during this crisis, and we want to do our part as well,” said John Walsh, president of Bethel Bakery. “We are delighted to help ease this burden from SHIM and benefit the folks who are hurting most at this difficult time.”
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, hunger was still a critical issue in the South Hills. In 2019, SHIM’s food pantries — located at SHIM Center at Bethel Park, SHIM Family Center in Baldwin-Whitehall, and Baldwin United Presbyterian Church — provided more than 500,000 pounds of food to more than 3,500 people in need, 35% of which were children. Some common items that can be found at the pantries include rice, beans, lentils and fresh produce.
Guffey hopes that fresh bread will provide a welcome pick-me-up to those who are struggling.
“This will be a wonderful treat for the families we serve,” he said. “We’re so grateful to Bethel Bakery for stepping up and helping the community at this great time of need. Better days are coming, but until then, we all have to stick together and support each other.”
Those who want to make a monetary donation to support SHIM’s work can do so at shimcares.org/give.
Anyone in need of urgent assistance during this crisis can contact SHIM’s main office at 412-854-9120 and select the extension for the appropriate staff person.
About South Hills Interfaith Movement – SHIM is a human services organization dedicated to improving the lives of people in need across the South Hills. This includes working to reduce the devastating effects of suburban poverty among the working poor, unemployed, families, single parents, senior citizens, women, and the high concentration of refugee families in its service area. SHIM works to identify the most critical needs across the South Hills, then develops and implements effective solutions. SHIM aims to empower individuals and families to achieve stability and self-sufficiency by offering short-term help with basic needs (food, clothing, utilities) and longer-term support (employment, financial planning, youth programs, family support) to help people build and sustain promising futures.