OUR MISSION is to alleviate food insecurity in Whitehall and Coplay. I wanted to give you an overview of our current programs since we are not just a Food Pantry.
FOOD PANTRY – The Pantry serves low-income Whitehall and Coplay residents. Located at St. John the Baptist Church, 3024 S. Ruch St, Whitehall, our food distributions take place the 2nd Thursday of each month from 11am-1pm and 5:30-7pm. We currently provide outside “drop and go” bags to Whitehall and Coplay residents in the Church parking lot. ID is required (driver’s license or current utility bill). Income limits apply - you just tell us your yearly, monthly, or weekly gross income (before taxes) and sign a self-declaration government form. Please note that there is no smoking on church property. If you are in need of food but are not a Whitehall or Coplay resident or do not have transportation, please call 484-225-0358.
We know there are many food insecure residents in Whitehall Township and Coplay Boro and we want to provide food to them. Please let your family, friends, and neighbors who live in these two areas know about us. We are here to help. Many do not have transportation. Can you bring them?
We are providing shelf stable dry food like rice, pasta, Mac & Cheese, canned tuna and chicken, canned string beans & corn, cereal, pancake mix, peanut butter and jelly plus more items along with frozen meats, dairy items like butter & cheese, and fresh produce. We also provide a couple toiletries and have a small amount of baby food and dog & cat food. Food items are subject to change.
Please go to https://tinyurl.com/WCHIPantryList to donate needed food items. These items can also be dropped or shipped to Shari Noctor at my Re/Max Unlimited office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall PA 18052
FREE COMMNITY MEALS - WCHI and the Faith-Based Community are proud to provide these FREE meals to low-income Whitehall-Coplay households twice a month through December 2022. The host location changes every time and they will decide if face masks are required. All are welcome to attend both meals on the 1st Sunday and 3rd Tuesday each month from 4:00-6:30pm. Meals are guaranteed for the first 100 guests. Each site location will state if this is an inside or outside “Drop and Go” pick up distribution or if it is a dine-in meal. We will post site requirements on Facebook for each meal. Go to tinyurl.com/WCHIprograms for updated meals.
Sunday, April 3; Tuesday, April 19; and Sunday, May 1 are to be determined. If any faith-based organization can do any of these dates, please contact Shari at 610-730-8067. Otherwise, we will not be able to offer a free meal on these days.
BINGO - We are hosting two more Sunday bingos this spring. New location: St Peter Church, 4 South 5th St, Coplay March 13th and April 10th . Doors open at 1pm. Calling starts at 2pm. $15 entry fee buys you 2 bingo boards with four games. Each additional board is $1 each and a pack of 5 specials are $5. Bingo chips and dabbers are available for purchase. Masks are optional. Food is also available for purchase. Questions Contact Liz Rodgers 484-274-6687.
SNACK PACK PALS- WCHI administers the Snack Pack Pal Program (SPP) with assistance from WCSD and St Elizabeth’s Regional School. The mission is to combat hunger for the most food -insecure students at both schools by providing a pack of kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare meals and snacks to supplement their nutrition over school holidays and long weekends. On average, WCHI provides 157 bags of shelf-stable food to WCSD and 10 bags to St Elizabeth’s monthly.
VOLUNTEERS- We are 100% volunteer and WCHI could never do any of our programs without their selfless support and time. All volunteers must have state required criminal background checks since we work with children. For a full list of our requirements https://tinyurl.com/WCHIforms and to register https://tinyurl.com/WCHIvolunteer Questions, please Contact Sylvia Volunteerme.Lee@gmail.com
Thank you and have a great week. Happy March – Spring is on the way!!
I wanted to explain product dating codes for this week’s article. Many people believe they need to throw out canned and boxed food items once it is past the date on the label. Food manufacturers use different date codes to ensure that consumers receive their product at peak quality.
There are four ways products are code dated: 1. “Sell-by” date – tells the store how long to display the product for sale; 2. “Best if Used By (or Before)” – recommended for best flavor or quality. This is not a purchase or safety date; 3. “Use By” - the last date recommended for use of the product while at peak quality. The manufacturer of the product has determined the date; and 4. “Exp. (or Expires)” – this is a true expiration date. The food is not safe to eat and must be thrown away.
Once a product is past the code date, many manufacturers and local grocery stores donate the food products to food banks. In our area, this would be Second Harvest Food Bank. Food Banks then provide food items to their member Pantries. Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative (WCHI) is a member Pantry and does receive the majority of our food items from Second Harvest.
Now, let’s discuss how long food is good to eat with these dates.
Very important - All baby food and formula must be thrown out by the expiration date. There is no nutritional value after this date. Second Harvest and WCHI monitors these dates and our pantry guests do not receive outdated baby food. Baby food recipients need to monitor these dates when the baby food is in your home pantry.
You will find this section interesting. There are pages of food items and shelf life after coded dates. I selected shelf stable products most people purchase or receive from WCHI’s food distributions.
I hope you found this article interesting and informative. The source of this information is from Food Share Venture County Food Bank and was given to me by Second Harvest Food Bank. Both are members of Feeding America. I pulled out highlights from seven pages of their “Shelf Life after Coded Dates” article, which also includes refrigerated, frozen, and fresh produce along with many other shelf stable food items.
Sunday --Best wishes for whichever football team you are cheering for today. Enjoy your Super Bowl parties and time with family and friends.
Monday – Happy Valentine’s Day! Please call a homebound friend or relative to say hello.
Tuesday -Our Free Community Meal will be hosted by Whitehall Bible Fellowship Church, 3300 7th St, Whitehall. Guests will have a choice of a sit down meal or come in and take out. There are two hot entrees for you to choose from. Face masks are optional. Meals are available for the 1st 100 guests. Questions, please call 610-434-8661
On 2/10/2022, WCHI volunteers and our guests had a beautiful day with very gusty winds for our Pantry Food distribution. Our guest attendance was very similar to January. WCHI served 213 households comprised of 784 residents; 325 children, 343 adults, and 116 seniors (age 60+)!! We also registered 26 new households.
A big shout out thank you to our wonderful volunteers, Second Harvest, and the general public who provide monetary funds and food/toiletry products to give to our guests. Also, THANK YOU, to all of you who have been doing food drives for WCHI including students, teachers and staff, businesses, clubs and faith based organizations. WE are so appreciative of your continued support and generosity!! Thank you, again.
The Feeding America network is the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, working to connect people with food and end hunger. Feeding America has a nationwide network of about 200 food banks, including Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley & Northeast PA. Food banks are non-profit organizations that source and store foods within a large warehouse which they can then distribute through their network of food pantries and meal programs that serve families, children, seniors, and individuals facing food insecurity.
Second Harvest Food Bank’s network is composed of about serves about 200 agencies in a six-county area: Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, and Wayne counties. WHCI is one of these agencies within Lehigh County.
I am pleased to announce very exciting news for WCHI. Second Harvest is collaborating with THREE Food Pantries in Lehigh County within their Healthy Pantry Initiative (HPI) grant: Allentown Ecumenical Food Pantry, Northern Lehigh Food Pantry, and Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative!
What is the HPI? This is a project of Feeding Pennsylvania, who is the statewide association of nine Feeding America affiliated food banks. Funding is provided by SNAP-Ed. The HPI goals are to 1. Increase access to healthy food within the food pantries and 2. Increase consumption of healthy food by pantry guests through various promotional methods and materials.
There are so many great aspects to HPI that will favorably impact all our WCHI Program recipients --our Pantry guests, our Snack Pack Pal children, and our Children’s Summer Feeding Program children. Many more future newspaper articles and e-mail blasts will be forthcoming from me on this exciting new Initiative. WCHI is extremely honored to be selected as of one of about 52 Healthy Pantries in Pennsylvania and one of three in Lehigh County!!
Just two reminders: 1. We do have our WCHI Food Pantry distribution this Thursday, February 10th 11-1 and 5:30-7pm in the St John the Baptist Church parking lot, 3024 S Ruch St, Whitehall 2. We also have our WCHI Bingo on Sunday, February 13th at Commitment to Family & Community, 165 Cherry St, Coplay. Doors open at 1 and bingo starts at 2. We play boards and paper specials. Face mask are required unless you are on oxygen. Bingo questions, call Liz 484-274-6687.
This week’s Food Pantry and Snack Pack Pal needed items include: Oatmeal Packets - Boxes of 6-10 Packets,
Granola /Cereal Bars – 5-10 bars per box and Sam's Club Brand Fruit Cups – Diced Peaches or Mandarin Oranges. We ask for Sam’s Fruit cups because they provide the best nutritional value and allow us to easily label each serving with ingredients and allergen information to the ensure safety of our students.
I wanted to talk about another food non-profit, Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley (MOWGLV). In talking with Victoria Coyle, Chief Executive Officer, more and more seniors, who have had family members or friends shop for them, are falling into a void now because people are still afraid to go out due to Covid. MOWGLV has fresh meals that will be made available to people in need. They prioritize people who are homebound and unable to prepare healthy meals due to age or health condition.
If someone qualifies for their service, MOWGLV can add them to their delivery routes. They currently deliver to 8 Coplay and 25 Whitehall residents. Meals are delivered Monday through Friday between 10:30M-12:00 pm by volunteers. All meals are heart healthy and meet the state guidelines for senior nutritional requirements. The meals can further be medically tailored to assist with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, or difficulty with chewing and swallowing. It takes about one week for an intake to be conducted before meal delivery starts. There is a sliding fee scale for meal fees. Please have the senior or family member call MOWGLV at 610-691-1030.
From the Meals on Wheels website https://mowglv.org/faqs/ I am putting this info in the article because not everyone has computer access or Wi-Fi. These are questions & answers on their frequently asked questions page. Please let people know about their service. MOWGLV is here to help those in need and have done a fantastic job with helping homebound adults. They are feeding more people than ever as all hunger organizations have seen increased food demand.
1. Who is eligible to receive Meals on Wheels? Eligibility is determined by need. Clients must be over the age of 18, be homebound and unable to prepare meals, be unable to meet basic nutritional needs, either temporarily or permanently, have no reliable options for nutritious daily meals, and reside in Lehigh or Northampton Counties.
2. I have a family member in need of meal deliveries. They live with another family member who does not prepare meals. Do they still qualify? Yes, if the person in need of meals is unable to prepare meals while the other family member is not home.
3. Can I sign my family member up for meal delivery? Of course! We receive referrals from any number of sources. The person you are referring for meals must agree to the service before we follow up to determine eligibility.
Thank you all for making a difference in people’s lives. We are all here to help our community.