South Hills Interfaith Ministries, which has , is currently running an emergency fall food drive to help restock its seriously depleted food pantry shelves.
The human-services nonprofit organization based in Bethel Park did not receive the amount of food donations that it normally does during the summer.
"We found ourselves scrambling for food," said Kate Snyder, community relations manager for SHIM.
Snyder does not know if the summer food shortage was caused by South Hills residents having a particularly busy summer or if residents are feeling the economic pinch. Either way, it's causing a major problem for SHIM, as the number of families enrolled to use the food pantry keeps increasing.
"Suburban poverty is a growing problem, and we're trying to keep up with increasing demand," Snyder said. "Our numbers have been going up since 2007 ... There has been a 150-percent increase of (enrolled) families over the last four years."
There are two ways to help. For one, residents can bring donations directly to the SHIM offices at 5301 Park Ave. in Bethel Park weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"We take pretty much anything nonperishable," Snyder said.
The most popular items taken from the food pantry by families in need are cereal, macaroni and cheese, canned tuna, packaged side dishes, and pasta sauce.
Another option is for those interested to organize a food drive. It is a popular option among community groups, such as Girl Scouts, churches and school classrooms. Those interested should contact Snyder by calling 412-854-9120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The emergency food drive runs through Oct. 17.
This article originally appeared on the .