Wow, I can’t believe we are starting November this week. Time sure does fly. I personally do not like the shorter days, but love all the warm weather we have been having!! November is the season for Giving Thanks and WCHI surely has a lot to be thankful for.
Everyone’s lives changed forever due to Covid last year. When Covid shut down everything, WCHI quickly mobilized our resources to feed Whitehall and Coplay residents, who were hit hard by work shutdowns, stay at home orders, job layoffs, Covid case quarantines, food store shortages, etc. Do you remember the run on toilet paper in the stores then?
We fed Whitehall and Coplay residents every two weeks outside with “Drop and Go“ bag operations from March through October 22nd 2020. During the summer of 2020, we started to look for a new location to set up a food pantry knowing we would have to close the food distributions due to safety issues from being dark due to the daylight savings time change. We didn’t know how we were going to pay for it, but just knew we needed one. I wanted to be in the center of Whitehall but very close to Coplay.
Jeff Warren, a Whitehall Township Commissioner, told me about a Lehigh County grant opportunity. At the same time, both a parishioner at St John the Baptist Church called Monsignor Gobitas and someone else called me to see if the closed Christ the King School building would be available to WCHI to use for a Pantry. This location is in the middle of Whitehall and Coplay is right across the street. Just the location we were looking for. The rest is all history.
Everyone associated with WCHI is eternally THANKFUL to Jeff Warren and to the Lehigh County Commissioners who approved our grant application last fall; and to Monsignor Gobitas, St John the Baptist Church, and the Diocese of Allentown for granting us a long-term lease to open our new Pantry.
We are also truly grateful to Second Harvest and all the food and financial support we receive from local donors. We are also appreciative of the support given to us from the Whitehall-Coplay Press, Whitehall Township and Coplay Boro, WCSD, and all the Whitehall-Coplay and Catholic School clubs and Lehigh Valley businesses.
I especially want to recognize and send out a huge Thank You Shout Out to all our volunteers who obtained all the state required child abuse clearances and our requirements. Without you, we would not be open.
WCHI and the residents we serve THANK YOU ALL of you mentioned above in this article!!!
Quick reminder: November 7th is daylight saving time. We all gain one hour. That same day, we are hosting our Free Community Meal at St John’s Lutheran Church, 835 Third St, Whitehall from 4-6:30 pm. Please go in the church parking lot on Quarry St (by the old school/office building) and turn right in the alley to go to the church door. The meal is “Drop and Go” pickup and is guaranteed for the first 100 guests.
We currently need toiletries. Please go to
You can also host a food and/or toiletry drive
King Cone is doing a food and toiletry drive now through November 18th at their store at 5503 MacArthur Rd, Whitehall.
Our next Food Pantry distribution is on Thursday, November 11th 11am-1pm and 5:30-7:00pm.
WCHI and the Faith Based Community have begun providing FREE COMMUNITY MEALS to low-income Whitehall-Coplay households since WCHI had to close the meals down 19 months ago due to Covid. These meals are available twice a month through December 2022. The host locations change every time.
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 1st 100 guests. Each site location will state if their meal is an inside or outside “Drop and Go” distribution or if it is a dine-in meal and if masks are required or not. We will post the host site requirements on Facebook.
Our October meals were very successful for just starting them again and for reaching out to the residents to know the meal locations and times. Both October meals were “Drop and Go” pick up hot meals.
The Sunday, Oct 3rd meal was provided by Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley (MALV). They made Gyro’s and had chips, applesauce, and homemade dessert. 43 meals were served to 25 adults, 14 children and 4 seniors.
The Tuesday, Oct 19th meal was provided by Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. They made a version of Shepherd’s Pie, applesauce, and homemade dessert. 98 meals we served to 42 adults, 19 children, and 37 seniors. The meal attendance is picking up due to increased marketing and our guests knowing about them.
The November and December locations are:
Sunday, Nov 7th - St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 835 Third St. Whitehall, 610-533-1357
Directions: From Grape St, turn Right on 3rd, Left on Quarry (at the office/old school building), turn right into the church parking lot and turn right in the alley to get to the Church side door. This is a “Drop and Go” meal.
-Tuesday, Nov 16th - Whitehall Bible Fellowship Church, 3300 7th St, Whitehall 610-434-8861
-Sunday, Dec 5th - Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley (MALV), 1988 Schadt Ave, Whitehall 703-346-8698
-Tuesday, Dec 21st - St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 835 Third St. Whitehall, 610-533-1357
We do have a few open dates available to host a 2022 meal. Local Whitehall and Coplay restaurants can also cook a meal for us to provide at a host site for any open dates. Please contact me with questions or to schedule.
WCHI is in need of boxed stuffing, boxed mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce for our Holiday Pantry distributions on November 11th and December 9th. See other needed items at
Food donations should be dropped off at or shipped to WCHI at my Re/Max Unlimited Office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052. Please leave your donations inside the foyer on the right, Monday through Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 9am-1pm, and Sunday 10am-1pm.
WCHI and the Faith Based Community are providing FREE meals once again to low-income Whitehall-Coplay households twice a month through December 2022. On Tuesday, October 19th, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 4331 Main St, Whitehall, 610-730-3184 will host the meal. This is a “Drop and Go” pick up hot meal from 4:00-6:30pm and are guaranteed for the 1st 100 guests. Food at these meals is always delicious!!
What a wonderful day we had at our October 14th Food Pantry distribution! We had record attendance numbers and have been increasing steadily since we opened in January. A big shout out Thank You is extended to both the Whitehall- Coplay School District for sending a reminder to all the low income households in the district and to our wonderful volunteers who work so diligently to help our community.
On 10/14, we served 186 households (152 Whitehall and 34 Coplay) comprised of 606 residents; 233 children, 279 adults, and 94 seniors (age 60+)!! We also registered 46 new households. The car attendance lines for a second month were long and non-stop. We had a 21% increase in total residents served in one month.
Just as a comparison, on September 9th, we served 146 households (121 Whitehall and 25 Coplay) comprised of 480 residents; 194 children, 211 adults, and 75 seniors. We registered 44 new households. On January 14th when we first opened the Pantry, we served and registered 91 households (54 Whitehall and 37 Coplay) comprised of 308 residents; 113 children, 141 adults, and 54 seniors. We came very close to doubling the number of people we served in 10 months!!
Please note that not every registered household attends every month. Since January, we have 296 households registered. Some have returned to their jobs; others took new jobs that are during our distribution times; some moved out of Whitehall and Coplay; some no longer have people to bring them or pick up food for them, and some do not need the food. We are here to help any resident that needs food. No one should go hungry. Please contact me.
We request these items for the coming holidays: Stove Top Stuffing, Boxed Mashed Potatoes, and Cranberry Sauce. Other items include: Chef Boyardee – 18oz, Canned Soup - 15oz, Granola /Cereal Bars – 5-10 bars per box, Hamburger Helper, Mac & Cheese Boxes, Pancake Syrup - 24oz, Rice - 1 lb bags/boxes, plain or flavored, Rice & Pasta Sides – Such as Knorr Pasta or Rice Packets, and Tomato/ Spaghetti Sauce – Cans or Plastic jars. https://tinyurl.com/WCHIPantryList
Also, some businesses, household neighbors in local subdivisions, and local clubs have contacted me to do future food drives. https://tinyurl.com/WCHIdrive
WCHI is registered for the AmazonSmile program. https://tinyurl.com/ymxz45cf When you shop at Amazon donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases - at no cost to you. AmazonSmile offers the same products, same low prices, and same services as the Amazon you know. You also can donate products to WCHI Simply browse, order, and enjoy giving.
Since WCHI is all about feeding residents, WCSD has asked me to spread the word they are looking for new employees in the food services department. To apply, go to
and scroll down to school cafeteria for a job application.
In June 2020, WCHI started the Mickley Run Apartment Complex Outreach Program to recreate the “Roseto Story” in Whitehall and Coplay. Back in the 1950’s, Roseto (outside of Bangor) was a close knit town where neighbors worked together as a community to help their fellow neighbors. I am proud to report that this has happened in Whitehall and Coplay since we opened our Food Pantry in January.
Through my weekly newspaper columns and email blasts, I have been emphasizing helping your friends, families, co-workers, and neighbors who are in need of food. As WCHI has moved through 202 with a myriad of programs (Food Pantry, Children’s Summer Feeding Program, Free Community Meals, and soon to launch Senior Boxes for qualified low income seniors age 60+), Whitehall and Coplay residents have realized there truly is a food insecurity issue right here in their backyards. And they have stepped up to help. Thank you all for this act of kindness.
Many of our guests do not have transportation to attend our Food Pantry or Free Community Meals. Several households either do not own a car, rely on public transportation or walking to get around Whitehall/Coplay, or there is only one car and it is needed to get the resident to work. Our community is now helping their neighbors by bringing them to our Pantry or picking up food for them and delivering it to their homes. Also, the public has made food, toiletry and monetary donations to WCHI. Roseto Story has come to fruition here in Whitehall and Coplay. Together we are making a difference in people lives. And WCHI thanks you!!
This Thursday, October 14th is our next Food Pantry distributions in the parking lot at St John the Baptist Church, 3024 S Ruch St, Whitehall 11am-1pm and 5:30-7:00pm. Lines are long and proof of Whitehall/Coplay residency is required. For more info, please call me.
For the Pantry, we request these three items for the coming holidays: Stove Top Stuffing, Boxed Mashed Potatoes, and Cranberry Sauce. For a full list of needed items https://tinyurl.com/WCHIPantryList
Several people have contacted me to organize a Food and/or toiletry Drive for WCHI. Please go to https://tinyurl.com/WCHIdrive
On Tuesday, October 19th WCHI’s Free Community Meal will be at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church from 4:00-6:30pm. Hot “Drop and Go” meals are guaranteed for the 1st 100 guests. For more info on the meal, please call 610-730-3184.
WCHI is providing Snack Pack Pals to both the Whitehall-Coplay School District (K-12) and St Elizabeth Regional School, Whitehall (PreK-8). Children, who have severe hunger needs at home, receive a bag of food over long weekends (Columbus Day) to help them have something to eat before they return to school. Last week WCSD distributed 186 packs and St Elizabeth 10 packs. Questions?? Please contact Leah Saliby email@example.com or Mary Spieker firstname.lastname@example.org WCHI has enough food to provide Packs through the winter for this program. The only food item we do need is Rice & Pasta Sides – such as Knorr Pasta or Rice packets.
WCHI thanks the community for your monetary and food/toiletry donations. Please make your check payable to WCHI and in the memo section, please write which program your donation is for. All Donations are appreciated and ma
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called Food Stamps, helps low income households increase their food purchasing power at grocery stores and even some farmer’s markets. Those who are eligible receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) ACCESS Card to make food purchases.
SNAP is also available if everyone in the household is age 60 or older or has a disability, purchases and prepares food together, and does not receive any earnings from work. For SNAP, a household is a group of people who usually purchase and prepare meals together. People in the household are not required to be related.
During the past year, Pennsylvania increased the income allowances for families, seniors and the disabled to qualify for SNAP from 130% to 160% of the poverty rate. As of October 1st, this new maximum monthly benefits were increased giving approximately $8-10 more a month to eligible residents. The benefit amount is calculated with the household income and the household size. For example, the PA maximum SNAP benefit limits for a household size of one is $250; household of four is $835.
To receive SNAP benefits, your income has to be under certain limits. SNAP households may receive deductions from their gross income for things like housing costs, child or dependent care payments, and medical expenses more than $35 for older adults or people with disabilities.
Pennsylvania SNAP Facts: 1.8 million people are on SNAP including 646,055 children; 326,597 seniors; and 476,751 have disabilities. I do not have Lehigh Valley, Whitehall, or Coplay numbers. Unfortunately, it is estimated that up to one-third of those eligible for SNAP are not receiving benefits.
I am trying to get the word out about SNAP and to get eligible residents enrolled. We will be handing out fliers at our WCHI Food Pantry distribution on Thursday, October 14th.
To help more people apply for SNAP benefits, Second Harvest Food Bank operates a “Food Stamps Over the Phone” outreach service. To find out if you are eligible and to actually apply for SNAP Benefits, please contact Kathryn Hoffman, Second Harvest Food Bank SNAP Outreach Coordinator at 484-821-2406 or email@example.com
How do SNAP benefits work? SNAP benefits are placed in an electronic account that only the recipient can use. This system is called electronic benefits transfer, or EBT. The eligible household receives the Pennsylvania EBT ACCESS card, which allows withdrawals for food purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets. The store uses the EBT ACCESS card to electronically subtract purchases from the SNAP account. The eligible household can only spend the amount that is in the account. This is not a credit card.
Sources: PA Dept of Human Services https://tinyurl.com/y4zkumm7 and Second Harvest Food Bank https://shfblv.org/snap-outreach/
Please help me spread the word by sharing this information.