Just a quick reminder that this Tuesday, July 27t at 11 am, you are invited to attend our Public Meeting at our WCHI Food Pantry, 3024 S Ruch St, Whitehall. Please note the GPS sometimes takes you near the police station on Lehigh St. This is not correct. Going North on MacArthur Rd, turn right on Center Street across from Auto Zone, follow to the end of Center St and make a left on Ruch St, make a left on to Park St at the St John the Baptist Church, pull in the church parking lot behind the Church, and walk down the driveway by the shed. You will see where to come in the school building. At this meeting, we are planning to schedule our Free Community meals from September 2021 through December 2022 with both our Faith Based and our Community Organizations. Many are not open yet. We can schedule these locations for 2022. With Covid, everything is subject to change. Many people have told me they are coming and several have dates they want to host the meals. At this meeting, I also will give you updates on all our other active programs. The time frame for this meeting should be 60-75 minutes. Light refreshments will be provided.
Time surely does fly!! Patricia Karo and I wrote our WCHI Children’s Summer Feeding Program (CSFP) grant request to Lehigh County and submitted it on April 10th. Now in July, we are halfway through our Summer Program. As always, I would like to thank the Lehigh County Commissioners for approving our grant request for $35,000; all our wonderful volunteers who help with all our programs (we are 100% volunteer), the Diocese of Allentown; Monsignor Gobitas, Barb Sukanick, Joe Paul and Neal Reenock of St John the Baptist Church for allowing us to operate out of Christ the King’s School cafeteria; Second Harvest Food Bank, and all the generous food and monetary donors who support our work. Without you, WCHI would not be helping as many Whitehall and Coplay residents as we currently are. We are making a huge difference in people’s lives and are fulfilling our Mission: to Alleviate Food Insecurity in Whitehall and Coplay.
I also want to thank both Diane Davidson and Jamie Reed. Diane is one of several Whitehall Rotary volunteers who help with the CSFP. She canvassed most of the Maryland 1 apartment building on Thursday putting up fliers in the mailroom and laundry rooms. Several households saw the fliers and came out. Also, Jamie Reed, who lives in the Mickley Run Apartment complex canvassed all the Mickley Run Apartment buildings on July 24th and has 20 new children coming to Monday’s distribution.
WCHI provides a bag of dry food for every child in the household- a baby through age 18- every Monday and Wednesday from 10-11 am. The Monday bag includes dry food for two breakfasts and two lunches. The Wednesday bag includes food for three breakfasts and three lunches. These bags also include shelf stable milk and a salty or sugary snack. We also provide vegetables from our WCHI garden. Recently, we had zucchini, string beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. Anne says the green beans and cucumbers aren’t doing so well so she doesn’t know how much longer we will be getting vegetables from the garden. It has been a hot summer and they are bringing water in to feed the plants.
Our distribution sites are located at: (1) Coplay location-Redeemed Christian Church of God, 5 N 3rd St; (5) Whitehall locations: Park and Church Streets in the Egypt Community Church social hall parking lot; 3rd & Leisenring Streets in Cementon at the school bus stop; St John’s Lutheran Church, 835 N 3rd St at the door in the alley with the ramp; Maryland Circle at the school bus stop; and Mickley Run Apartments in the west parking lot closest to the 350 building off of Overlook Rd.
In July, our CSFP had our highest number of children fed for the month so far on July 21st. We provided food to 72 children. June 23rd was our busiest day serving 115 children. We have the capability of serving at least 500 children and need your help encouraging your Whitehall-Coplay family, friends and neighbors to attend. Please let people know who are too proud to come, that everyone some time in their life needs help.
Also, we have books from LV Reads, Cops & Kids, the Whitehall Library and from public donations to provide books for the children at every Monday and Wednesday distribution at our 6 sites from 10-11am until our last day on August 25th. We are still accepting new and lightly used books for a toddler through age 18. You can drop them at my office 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall M-F 9-5; Sat 9-1 and Sun 10-1.
WCHI is definitely here to help. If you are a Whitehall or Coplay resident with children a baby through age 18 and do not have transportation to get to a CSFP site or work during the day, please call/text me 484-225-0358 and I will make arrangements to provide you with food and books.
For more info on WCHI, please go tour website https://tinyurl.com/WCHIhome and please like us on Facebook https://tinyurl.com/WCHIfb
Have a great week!!
I hope everyone has been enjoying your summer! It has been a hot and humid one. I am happy when the rain comes to water our lawns, vegetables and flowers.
Please mark your calendars to attend our first 2021 WCHI public meeting next Tuesday, July 27th at 11 am in our Pantry, 3024 S Ruch St, Whitehall. You will learn more about our WCHI programs. At this meeting, I plan to schedule WCHI’s Free Community Meals to start in September 2021 through December 2022 with our Faith Based Community members and others who can host a meal. Please attend. We need your help and input.
Our Children’s Summer Feeding Program (CSFP) continues every Monday and Wednesday 10-11am at our six locations for all low income Whitehall and Coplay children, a baby through age 18. Last week, WCHI fed 129 children and registered 9 new households. We want you to encourage more households to attend and receive a free bag of breakfast and lunch items that change all the time for each child in your household. We urge you to attend even though you have received the P-EBT stimulus money. This bag of food includes cereal, shelf stable milk, oatmeal packets, tuna fish, mac & cheese, etc and will last unopened for several months.
Our distribution sites are located at: (1) Coplay location-Redeemed Christian Church of God, 5 N 3rd St; (5) Whitehall locations: Park and Church Streets in the Egypt Community Church social hall parking lot; 3rd & Leisenring Streets in Cementon at the school bus stop; St John’s Lutheran Church, 835 N 3rd St at the door in the alley with the ramp; Maryland Circle at the school bus stop; and Mickley Run Apartments in the west parking lot closest to the 350 building off of Overlook Rd. Please attend the site closest to your home.
Thank you to Courtney Brinkley, Kristin Quirk, and Rebecca McAtee who brought United Way’s LV Reads program to both our Maryland Circle and Mickley Run Apartment Children Summer Feeding Program sites on July 14th. The children who attended that day received books, crayons, and a paper fan. Books will be distributed at our other four CSFP sites the next two weeks. And we will disburse books again to children at all six CSFP sites in August from book donations from United Way, the Whitehall Public Library, Cops & Kids, and the public. Reading over the summer is very important for school age children.
WCHI Garden is growing several vegetables for our CSFP. Anne and Erik’s green thumbs provided over 100 pounds of zucchini, string beans, banana peppers and cucumbers for the children last week. Some of the zucchini were 18-20 inches long!! Thank you, Anne and Eric for maintaining and cultivating the garden in this heat and humidity. The children love receiving the vegetables!!
To go with Anne and Erik’s cucumbers, Julie Davitt, our Board Director from Penn State provided this cucumber recipe from USDA MY Plate https://tinyurl.com/8nj8hvew Ingredients: 1 cucumber (large, peeled and thinly sliced), 2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt (Julie says you can use sour cream or mayonnaise), 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon dill weed (optional), 1 dash pepper (optional). Directions: 1. Peel and thinly slice cucumber. 2. Mix all other ingredients in the mixing bowl. 3. Add cucumber slices and stir until coated. 4. Chill until serving.
A heartfelt thank you again is extended to all our WCHI volunteers and our public food and monetary donors. We could not do any of our programs without you!!
Thank you, Patty Vahey, Director, and the Whitehall Public Library staff for donating and packing bags of books and information about the library for each child attending our Children’s Summer Feeding Program (CSFP) on July 7th. We gave away additional books also donated from the library. The children were all excited to receive the books!! WCHI provided a “drop and go” bag of food to 68 children on July 5th and 71 children on July 7th.
Michelle Khouri, WSCD Registrar, sent out a robocall, text, and email on Tuesday to the households receiving free and reduced rate breakfast and lunch in the District about our CSFP on Wednesday and our WCHI Pantry on Thursday. WCHI volunteers working our 6 CSFP sites also distributed a flier promoting our July 8th Pantry.
Thank you to Michelle and to our wonderful WCHI volunteers. You have truly made a difference in so many residents’ lives. Many residents did not know about our Pantry. We had record numbers attend our Pantry distribution on Thursday!! Many showed us our fliers and others said the school contacted them.
On July 8th, we served 88 Whitehall and 30 Coplay households which included 179 adults, 170 children, and 78 seniors. WCHI fed 427 people!! The next highest was on May 13th with 389 people. This was the most children we ever served, too. The next highest children served were 131 on April 8th.
A big shout out THANK YOU goes out to our fabulous Children’s Summer Feeding Program and Pantry volunteers, who pack and disburse all of our “drop and go” bags. Pantry guests receive four bags of dry food, one bag of frozen meats and fish, one bag of dairy-butter and cheese, and one bag of toiletries when we have them; baby food and dog/cat food as needed.
Please continue to tell you friends and neighbors about our Children’s Program and our Pantry. With Michelle’s robo calls, a few residents called me to tell me they work during the day and their children are not allowed to leave the house. If you know anyone that this is also an issue, please have them call me. I will make other arrangements for them to receive our bagged children’s food.
It is important to me that you know about www.lvfreshfoodbucks.org My friend, Allison Czapp, is the Director of Lehigh Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local (BFBL). From the above referenced site: “Fresh Food Bucks gives people shopping with food stamps up to $10 per day to purchase fresh, local fruits and vegetables. Eat better while supporting local farmers!
LV Fresh Food Bucks not only provides our low-income community members with the freshest, most nutritionally dense food available, it creates additional revenue channels for our local farmers and keeps more money circulating in our local economy.
How it works: Take your EBT/ACCESS card to a participating location. Shop for SNAP eligible food items using your EBT/ACCESS card. BFBL will match what you spend with free LV Fresh Food Bucks to buy fresh and local produce – up to $10 a day!
The two closest farmer’s market to Whitehall-Coplay is in Northampton Boro, Laubach Ave & Smith Lane, in the Municipal Park Complex across from the Northampton Municipal Admin Building, every Tuesday 3-6:30pm. Wild Fox Farm, Barto is the only vendor there that accepts the EBT/ACCESS card. The second closest vendor accepting this program is Hersch’s Market, 129 S 17th Street, Allentown, PA 18104 Open M-Sat 9-6:30 and Sun 9-5.
Please call/text me with any questions on the above info.
Have a great week!!
For the five days in June that we offered our Children’s Summer Feeding Program, we provided a bag of food to 170 children. Our highest number of children served on one day was 115 on June 23rd. The children and parents attend when they can. These are the total number of children served by location for June: Cementon 9; Coplay 26; Egypt 9; Fullerton 29; Maryland Circle 42; and Mickley Run 55.
We have the capability of providing food to a minimum of 500 children, a baby through age 18, every Monday and Wednesday. Please spread the word to help us serve many more Whitehall and Coplay low income household children every Monday and Wednesday 10-11 am. Every day is a different bag of food. After the 4th day, the food bag items will repeat again.
Our July 5th bag will contain a juice box, 1 can of chicken chili or beef stew, 2 small milk boxes, pancake mix, a nutrigrain bar, a 6 pack of raisins, and a small individual bag of cookies. Our July 7th bag includes 3 small milk boxes, peanut butter jar, a can of vegetable soup, a small box of mac and cheese, 1 applesauce can, snack chips and small sandwich style crackers. Bag food items may vary and they are available while supplies last at our 6 distribution sites.
We provided zucchini and string beans fresh from our WCHI garden at the Mickley-Prydun Farm this week while the vegetable supply lasted to the children attending our Children’s Summer Feeding Program. The children’s faces lit up when they saw the fresh, green vegetables!! A variety of WCHI produce will be given out this summer as they become available.
Also, on July 8th our WCHI Pantry is providing our monthly food distribution from 11am-1pm and 5:30-7 pm in the parking lot of St. John the Baptist Church, 2024 S Ruch St, Whitehall. Please expect long lines this week as we need to register everyone once again for Second Harvest and USDA’s new fiscal year which started on July 1st. Please see our new sign in front of the Christ the King School where our Pantry is located.
Since we will have an abundance of zucchini from our garden this summer, we wanted to provide some ways to prepare this summer squash. Julie Davitt is a WCHI Board Director and a Nutrition Education Adviser (spelled with a E) at Penn State. She provided this video from USDA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSKtPtW0X2o which shows adults and kids how to make corn and zucchini pancakes.
Julie also provided these zucchini preparations from Katy Moscoso, Program Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables because of how versatile it is. You can use this inexpensive summer squash in several ways when cooking and baking. I didn’t appreciate zucchini as much as a child, but now that I do most of the cooking at my house, I love how easy it is to transform this veggie to meet everyone’s needs! Below are a few of my favorite ways to use this tasty green veggie.
Sauté– I love to sauté diced or chopped zucchini in a little bit of olive oil with spices and other summer squash or tomatoes. It is a quick, tasty side dish that everyone enjoys! I also like using sautéed zucchini in recipes like Zucchini Hummus Wraps and Vegetable Quesadillas.
Bake– I like to add shredded zucchini to meatloaf, muffins and cakes. One of my favorite muffin recipes is the Chocolate Chip and Zucchini Muffins from Spend Smart. Eat Smart. My family also likes to have sliced zucchini baked in the oven with parmesan cheese for a crunchy snack.
Grill– Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and cook it on the grill with a drizzle of olive oil and a blend of spices. I use leftover grilled zucchini in pasta and on grilled cheese sandwiches.
Steam– If I want to have a lighter pasta, I make zucchini noodles with a cheap spiralizer I purchased several years ago at a home goods store. The noodles can be steamed and used as an alternative to heavy pasta dishes. When our daughter was a baby, I would steam zucchini to make baby food since it was inexpensive.
One of my favorite things about using zucchini in a recipe or as a side dish is that zucchini does not take long to prepare or cook. I love how zucchini takes on the flavor of what you cook it with, making it easy to prepare in a variety of ways. Grab a zucchini next time you pick out produce- you won’t be disappointed!”