Young philanthropists step up to sack hunger - SHIM

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Young philanthropists step up to sack hunger

Still new to Upper St. Clair after their recent move from Michigan, Jackson and Alex VanHoorelbeke, 15-year-old twins, admit they don’t know much about the South Hills. But after learning about the many people throughout our community struggling to put food on the table, they stepped up to make a difference through their high school community service project.

“We know that everyone in the South Hills is not as fortunate as we are,” Alex explained. “SHIM was an organization where we could volunteer, and we thought hosting a drive for them was a good way to help people.”

The Upper St. Clair High School students organized a food drive to collect some of SHIM’s most-needed items for its three food pantries, including cans of soup, bags of dried beans, cereal and more. They made fliers, posted a call for donations on social media, and walked door-to-door spreading the word about SHIM, encouraging neighbors to donate to their drive.

“The neighbors were really appreciative and thought we were doing a good thing,” Jackson shared.

In total, the duo collected nearly 150 lbs. of food in two weeks. They hope to plan another drive in the future and next time, try to involve the entire school to make an even bigger impact.

This spring, the Upper St. Clair School District participated in SHIM’s Sack Hunger, Pack Hope campaign by collecting and donating food for the pantries. With minimal help from a calculator, Jackson did the math. If all 1,500 students in Upper St. Clair High School host a drive like theirs, “we could collect 112,000 lbs. of food for our community. That’s a lot of food!”

“We learned that people in the South Hills want to help their community,” Alex added, “They just need the opportunity.”

If your family or students want to host a drive for SHIM, contact Seth Dubin Director of Development, at or (412) 854-9120 x109 to get started. Or go to

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