My apologies, our January 13th Pantry distribution numbers were reported incorrectly last week. We forgot to provide the adults, children, and seniors included in the 41 new households registered that very busy day. We ran non-stop for both the morning and evening distribution. And our volunteers and guests were so glad to have sunny weather even though the temperature was only in the 30’s.
On 1/13/22, WCHI served 218 households, which included 354 adults, 356 children, and 104 seniors for a total of 814 people who received food from us that day. This is a 264% increase from our 1/31/21 opening day distribution when we served 91 households and 308 people.
Many of these new households are coming from several different sources. When we register our guests, we ask them how they learned about the food distribution. They heard from: word of mouth from existing guests; their neighbors, families, and neighbors; saw the info in the Whitehall Township and Coplay Boro newsletters or my weekly article in the Whitehall-Coplay Press; and many come from the Whitehall-Coplay School District’s robo call, texts, and emails sent to low income households registered in the District.
We could not do this large operation without all our volunteers who generously donate their time and talents. Because WCHI’s programs work with children, each of our volunteers must have required State and WCHI clearances, whether or not a specific volunteer actually works directly with a child. WCHI has 65 cleared volunteers with more signing up weekly. Please review our clearances at https://tinyurl.com/WCHIforms If you are interested in helping us with any of our programs, please sign up so we know you are working on them https://tinyurl.com/WCHIvolunteer There are several required clearances and you can do them within a couple of weeks. There is no time limit and you can go at your own pace. Once obtained, the clearances are valid for 5 years. Please contact Sylvia Lee, WCHI’s Volunteer Coordinator with any questions at Volunteerme.Lee@gmail.com
Our Free Community Meals have been very well attended. St. Peter Roman Catholic Church, 4 South 5th St., Coplay 18037 will host our next meal on Sunday, February 6th. This will be a take-out meal. Questions, please call 610-262-2417.
WCHI and the Faith-Based Community are proud to provide these FREE meals to low-income Whitehall-Coplay residents twice a month through December 2022. The host locations change every time and they will decide if 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 and doors may be locked if the meals are all given out before 6:30. 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.
WCHI and our guests thank you for telling people about our programs. You are all helping WCHI achieve Our Mission, which is to alleviate food insecurity in Whitehall and Coplay. To learn about our other programs, please see them at https://tinyurl.com/WCHIprograms
WCHI’s next Free Community Meal will be on Tuesday, January 18th and is hosted by Redeemed Christian Church of God, 5 N 3rd St, Coplay. This is an outside “pick-up” distribution from 4:00-6:30pm and is guaranteed for the 1st 100 people. Food may not be available through 6:30 pm. The distribution is on a 1st come 1st served basis. Questions, please call 610-262-8993.
WCHI and the residents are so appreciative of all our faith based partners who host our bi-monthly meals. You are all providing a much needed Outreach Program for our residents. Thank you!!
WCHI will be starting our 2022 Children’s Summer Feeding Program planning meetings on Tuesday, January 25th at 11am at our Pantry located in the school building at St John the Baptist Church Complex, 3024 S Ruch Street, Whitehall. This is open to the public and we can always use more volunteers. Park in the back parking lot, walk down the driveway to the right of the school, and come in the 1st door on the left. All WCHI volunteers need clearances. https://tinyurl.com/WCHIforms Please call me with questions.
WOW, a whole year has gone by since we opened our WCHI Food Pantry. We had a great attendance last Thursday at our Pantry distribution! Our guests are always so grateful for the food and toiletries. We had the warmest day of the week (30’s) and we were all thankful we did not have snow!!
On 1/13/22 we served 177 households comprised of 639 residents; 266 children, 281 adults, and 92 seniors (age 60+)!! We also registered 41 new households. The car attendance lines are always non-stop. When we opened last year on 1/11/21, we served and registered 91 households comprised of 113 children, 141 adults, and 54 seniors.
WCHI has registered 500 households during the last year. Some guests come every month; due to Covid-19 some were laid off and now have returned to work; some do have two jobs and a family member or neighbor picks food up for them. Many seniors unfortunately have to choose whether to pay for their medicine or pay for food. And gas prices are not helping these households. There are many dynamics why people need food. We understand their hardships and know their reasons for coming. I am so glad we can help so many people!!
A couple times a year, I write about being kind to others. A simple smile, holding a door open for someone, or calling someone just to say hello, uplifts the human spirit and makes their day.
WCHI has been so blessed with fantastic volunteers, great monetary and food/toiletry donors, and a very compassionate community, who work together to help us achieve our Mission: To alleviate food insecurity in Whitehall and Coplay. My quote is always “Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative is making a difference in people’s lives.” And we truly are doing this!!
Our community is helping our community. Everyone involved with our programs have been kind to others and have been touched in one way or another. Volunteers give their time and talents; donors give their treasures; and our guests gives us smiles, tears, and thankfulness that people truly care about them. Everyone needs help in their lives at one time or another. Thank you all for your part in community helping our community.
My favorite quote by far is “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
Here are three others I like:
Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” —Jackie Chan.
“You cannot do kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“Because that’s what kindness is. It’s not doing something for someone else because they can’t, but because you can.” —Andrew Iskander.
Reminder: This Thursday, January 13th is our WCHI Food Pantry distribution in the parking lot at St John the Baptist Church complex, 3024 S Ruch St, Whitehall 11am-1pm and 5:30-7pm.
This article is to request items WCHI needs for both the Food Pantry and for Snack Pack Pals. Faith based organization, civic groups, businesses, and a group of friends and neighbors can do a food drive Please inform us that you are a drive by registering at https://tinyurl.com/WCHIdrive
The WCHI Food Pantry provides monthly food distributions to those needing assistance. Due to current COVID circumstances, we must pre-pack and distribute food in plastic grocery bags. Please note the suggested sizes to assist us in keeping bags manageable for distribution, including plastic, not glass jars, when possible. Thank you! Your donations are greatly appreciated.
On average, WCHI provides food to 250 households monthly. Needed Pantry Food items include: Boxed Potatoes 4-5 oz; Boxed Stuffing (like Stove Top) 6oz; Canned Beans – Baked beans, Black, Kidney, Northern, etc -15oz; Canned Soup - 15oz; Cereal - regular and whole grain-12oz; Chef Boyardee – 18oz Cans; Granola /Cereal Bars – 5-10 bars per box; Hamburger Helper; Mac & Cheese Boxes; Oatmeal Packets - Boxes of 6-10 packets; Pancake Syrup - 24oz; Rice - 1 lb bags/boxes, plain or flavored; Rice & Pasta Sides – Such as Knorr Pasta or Rice Packets, Shelf Stable Milk – 32oz; and Tomato/ Spaghetti Sauce
We also need the following toiletry items: Diapers - Baby and Adult; Feminine Products; Shampoo & Conditioner; Soap; Tissues; Toilet Paper; Toothpaste; and Toothbrushes.
Please Note: Food and Toiletries should be placed in separate bags. Refrigerated, frozen, perishable or homemade items WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED due to food safety liability reasons.
WCHI also fully 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.
Please purchase the specific items as 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. Needed SPP items: Cereal – Whole Grain Variety Pack, Small Boxes .75-2.5oz; Sam's Club Brand Fruit Cups – Diced Peaches or Mandarin Oranges; Welches or Motts Fruit Snacks; Quaker Chewy Granola Bars; Jif to Go Peanut Butter – 1.5 oz pods; Kraft Macaroni & Cheese - Microwavable Single Serve Cups - 2.05oz; Quaker Brand Oatmeal Packets; Snack Pack Brand Pudding Cups - 3.25oz; Knorr Pasta or Rice packets; Shelf Stable Milk - 8oz; and Individually Labeled Snack Bags (Chips, Doritos, Pretzels, etc.) - 1oz
All food and toiletry donations are appreciated and may be shipped to or dropped off at Re/Max Unlimited Real Estate, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052. Please leave your donations inside the foyer on the right, Monday through Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 9am-1pm & Sunday 10am-1pm. Monetary donations are also appreciated. Please make your check payable to WCHI and put the program you want the money applied to in the memo section. Please mail to WCHI at the Re/Max address above.
For our guests who receive WCHI food, Please Note: Canned items are good 5 years after their best buy date, which is only a freshness date. WCHI does not provide cans that are dented, swollen, or rusted because they are not safe and are thrown out. Boxed items stay good two years after their freshness date.
Best wishes to everyone for a healthy and happy New Year!!
WCHI’s bingo will be held at Commitment to Family & Community, 165 Cherry St, Coplay on Sunday, January 9th. Doors open at 1 pm. Call Liz for more details 484-274-6687.
Our Food Pantry distribution will be on Thursday, January 13th at St John the Baptist Church parking lot, 3024 S Ruch St, Whitehall 11am-1pm and 5:30-7:00pm. For more info call 484-225-0358.
We are in need of 12oz cereal boxes and instant oatmeal with 8-10 packets for next week’s Food Pantry distribution. All Donations are appreciated and may be shipped or dropped off to my office, Re/Max Unlimited Real Estate, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052. Please leave your donations inside the foyer on the right, Monday through Friday 9AM- 5PM, Saturday 9AM-1PM & Sunday 10AM-1PM THANK YOU!!!
This is a great time of year to host a Food and/or Toiletry Drive for WCHI. Food and toiletries should be placed in separate boxes. We are always in need of toiletries: toilet paper, tissues, soap, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, feminine napkins, baby and adult diapers. Food items include: all kinds of soup, pancake syrup, an jelly. Our website should be updated later this week with other needed items https://tinyurl.com/WCHIPantryList If you decide to do a drive, please let us know at https://tinyurl.com/WCHIdrive WCHI would like to promote your drive on Facebook.
Please note: WCHI does not accept any refrigerated, frozen, or homemade items from the public for liability reasons. All our refrigerated and frozen foods are temperature controlled and come directly from Second Harvest Food Bank.
The Federal and State government have specific rules for Food Safety. WCHI is required to have a ServSafe Certification to be a member of Second Harvest. Several volunteers do have this certification, which needs to be renewed every five years. I will share some basic tips that everyone should know about when handling food at home to prevent foodborne illnesses, which can cause sickness and death. Some of this information comes from the 7th Edition of SERVSAFE Manager book.
There are four main risk factors that cause food to become unsafe:
2. Cross contamination – This occurs when pathogens transfers from one food surface to another. This can happen when ready to eat food touches contaminated food surfaces -like an apple touches an unwashed cutting board that just had raw chicken on it. Or a contaminated wiping cloth touches the apple.
4. Poor cleaning and sanitizing – happens when equipment and utensils are not washed, rinsed and sanitized between uses.
I hope you found these risk factors informative.
Just a reminder, our next Free Community Meal is on Sunday, January 2nd, 4:00-6:30 pm at the Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley (MALV), 1988 Schadt Ave, Whitehall. This is guaranteed for the 1st 100 guests and will be pickup only. Questions call Deeba 703-346-8698.
I would like to review what a wonderful year the Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative (WCHI) accomplished to help so many low income households in Whitehall and Coplay. I tried to create a Roseto story here with residents helping their neighbors, friends, and family. WCHI has achieved this goal. Thank you!!
WCHI began in 2015 and received our 501c3 charitable organization status in 2017. We offer many Outreach Programs and I will address the work we have completed in 2021:
First, I want to recognize the 65 adult volunteers that obtained all our required clearances. Most of our clearances are Child Abuse ones required by PA State Law. Since we work with everyone in the household including children and offer children’s programs, all adult volunteers must provide copies of our requirements before they are permitted to work with us. These adults along with many middle and high school students, who need community service hours, assist us by sorting, packing, and distributing food for many of our programs. We could not do any of our Outreach Programs without these selfless and committed volunteers, who always have a smile on their faces and want to help wherever they are needed.
Thank you to all our monetary, food, and toiletry donors along with our community partners including Whitehall-Coplay Press, Second Harvest Food Bank, Lehigh County, Diocese of Allentown, our faith based partners, DanJon Management, WCSD, Whitehall Twp and Coplay Boro along with a myriad of service organizations including Knights of Columbus, Whitehall Lions, Whitehall Rotary, Minsi Trail Boy Scouts, Whitehall & Coplay Libraries, local businesses, and so many others. Without products to provide, WCHI could not help so many in our community. We also have many silent contributors, who drop off product daily at my office. I do not know who you are to personally thank you. We need and appreciate all of you!!
The Pantry opened on January 14th with outside bagged food distribution held monthly on the 2nd Thursday in the parking lot at St John the Baptist Catholic Church, Whitehall. In 2021, we registered 393 households. Not everyone comes monthly. We provide enough food to prepare 5 meals per person. We had a total yearly attendance of 5,361 people which includes adults, children and seniors for a total of 26,805 meals provided.
Children’s Summer Feeding Program (CSFP) ran at six locations (5 in Whitehall and 1 in Coplay) from June 16th-August 25th. WCHI provided 1,504 bags of food for a total of 7,726 meals to Whitehall and Coplay low income children. There were five different bags of food items provided on a rotating basis to the children throughout the summer.
OUR WCHI garden located at the Mickley-Prydun Farm was cultivated by Anne Chickilly and her husband Erik Sagan. They grew 680 pounds of fresh vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, banana peppers, and zucchini. Fresh vegetables were provided to the children at our CSFP.
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 provided 157 bags of shelf-stable food to WCSD and 10 bags to St Elizabeth’s monthly.
Our Free Community Meals are provided by our Whitehall and Coplay Faith Based Partners on the 1st Sunday and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 4:00-6:30pm while supplies last for low-income households. Hot meals are provided by the host church for 100 guests on a 1st come 1st serve basis. The host location decides if the meals will be pickup only, inside sit down meal, or a combo of both. These meals are well attended.
Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!!
College students will be on holiday break this week so I wanted to talk a little about College Student Hunger. No one thinks about this, but college hunger is prevalent in the Lehigh Valley and throughout the country. Many local college students are living at home and commuting for classes. This article is to inform you that this type of food insecurity does exist and how the student can possibly obtain some relief through SNAP benefits.
The info below is coming from https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/students along with some additional info from me. Please share this info.
Most SNAP eligibility rules apply to all households, but there are some special rules for students attending an institution of higher education that are described here. If you are not a student, you should read the general SNAP eligibility rules. (I discuss SNAP, in general, further down in the article).
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 temporarily expanded student eligibility to new groups from January 16, 2021 through the end of the public health emergency. (We are still in this emergency period). The new, temporary change to student eligibility means that certain students who were not eligible for SNAP before, may now be eligible. See the next two paragraphs.
Eligibility for State or Federally Financed Work Study: Under SNAP regular rules, only students who actually participate in State or Federally financed work study are eligible. The new, temporary exemption expands SNAP eligibility to students who are eligible to participate in work study during the regular school year, without the requirement that they actually participate. For the purposes of this temporary exemption, States may consider all students eligible if they are eligible for work study and attend an institution of higher education that participates in a State or Federal work study program (including the FFWS program). The institution of higher education makes the determination as to whether a student is eligible to participate in a work study program.
Expected Family Contribution of 0 (Zero): Students must have an EFC of 0 in the current academic year to meet this exemption. The EFC is calculated for award years on a July 1-June 30 calendar, but institutions of higher education may have academic years that vary from this specific timeframe. For purposes of this temporary exemption, the EFC of 0 must be for the current academic year, as defined by the institution of higher education, in which the individual is enrolled.
The following info is on SNAP, in general. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called Food Stamps) helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health. SNAP benefits come in the form of a debit card that can be used to buy food at most grocery stores, and even some farmers’ markets. During the past year, Pennsylvania increased the income allowances for families, seniors and the disabled to qualify for SNAP from 130% of poverty to 160%.
Unfortunately, it is estimated that up to one-third of those eligible for SNAP are not receiving benefits. This includes college students, adults with or without children, and seniors. 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 for and to actually apply for SNAP Benefits, please contact Kathryn Hoffman, SNAP Outreach Coordinator, at Second Harvest Food Bank 484-821-2406 or email@example.com
WCHI needs the following food items: JIF peanut butter pods, Oatmeal packets, 8oz and 32oz Shelf stable milk, 24oz Pancake syrup, 18oz Jelly (both plastic jars), cereal, and fruit snacks. Please drop off or mail to my RE/MAX Unlimited office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052
THANK YOU for helping the residents of Whitehall and Coplay. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!
WCHI’s next Free Community Meal is on Tuesday, December 21st at St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 835 Third St, Whitehall from 4:00-6:30pm. Note: the meals are guaranteed for the 1st 100 guests. Sometimes the meals are totally disbursed by 6 pm and the church closes. Directions: at the old school building on Third St south of Grape St, turn on Quarry St, and turn right into the parking lot. Follow to the alley, turn right, and stop at the church door by the ramp to receive your meal. Questions, please call
I took some of the food items below from a Taste of Home 2018 article that mentions items to donate to your local food pantry https://tinyurl.com/2p89mbep I believe these items originally came from Feeding America. Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB) provides most of these staples to their member food pantries. SHFB and WCHI are providing healthy foods as much as possible. I liked this article because it shows why everyone should have these specific items in their kitchen pantry.
Note: Canned food will last at least 5 years past its best buy date and dry goods up to 2-3 years.
WCHI can always use instant mashed potatoes and canned soup. Please ship or drop of at my Re/Max Unlimited office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052.
Have a great week and Happy Holidays!!
I am so proud that WCHI is helping so many Whitehall and Coplay residents. We are definitely achieving our Mission to alleviate food insecurity in Whitehall and Coplay.
Our next food distribution is this Thursday, December 9th in the St John the Baptist Church parking lot, 3024 S Ruch St, Whitehall from 11am -1pm and again from 5:30-7:00pm. We are hopeful that we can be inside for January. I will give you more information on this as we get closer to the January 13th distribution date.
From our September to November pantry distributions, we jumped 40% with the number of households we served -- 146 in September, 186 in October and 205 in November. We also had a huge increase in new household registrations -- 49 in September, 55 in October, and 41 in November. And we also served 30 households last month with 6 or more people living in the same home.
In November, we had our highest pantry attendance this year. The 205 households were comprised of 333 adults, 300 children, and 92 seniors for a total of 725 people. We try to provide food to make 5 meals. Thanks to Second Harvest and the generous public food and monetary donations, we provided 3,625 meals at the November distribution.
Please note that not every registered household comes monthly. We have 281households registered since July 1st to comply with PA Dept of Agriculture reporting for their fiscal year of July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. Also, pantries have been told to expect an uptick in registrations through September 2022. Second Harvest has reported that currently in PA, 1 in 9 people and 1 in 7 children face food insecurity. Prior to Covid, 1 in 6 children were affected.
A big thank you goes out to all of you who are telling your family members, friends, and neighbors about WCHI. We also thank the WCSD, who has been sending out reminder robo calls, texts, and emails to the households who are registered for free and reduced rate breakfast and lunch the evening before our distribution. You all are making a big difference in people’s lives. Both WCHI and our guests are greatly appreciative.
WCHI’s next bingo is this Sunday, December 12th at Commitment to Family and Community, 165 Cherry St, Coplay. Face masks are required, except for those who are on oxygen. You can take them off to eat and drink, but then must be put back on. Doors open at 1pm. Bingo starts at 2pm. $15 gets you in the door and you receive two bingo boards with two games on each board. We also sell paper specials $5 a pack of five. Bingo chips and dabbers are available for purchase as is food and great desserts. Please bring an item for Snack Pack Pals https://tinyurl.com/SnackPackPals or for our Food Pantry https://tinyurl.com/WCHIPantryList We really need toiletries. Call Liz with questions and to register 484-274-6687. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Please remember this is the season for giving and it does not need to be monetary. Please continue to spread your kindness every chance you get. Just a simple smile or holding a door open for someone can positively impact a person’s day!!
I want to thank all the faith-based partners who are helping WCHI by hosting a meal. Many churches are including our meals in their monthly newsletters and weekly bulletins. Thank you. We are all helping each other help our community.
Please mark your calendar for our next Free Community Meal on Sunday, December 5th at Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley (MALV), 1988 Schadt Ave, Whitehall. Questions contact Deeba 703-346-8698. This will be a sit down meal. Please wear your face mask when entering the building.
We are in need of the following items for our next Pantry distribution on December 9th: Stove Top Stuffing, Boxed Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Chef Boyardee – 18oz Cans, Granola /Cereal Bars – 5-10 bars per box, Oatmeal Packets - Boxes of 6-10 packets, Pancake Syrup - 24oz, Rice - 1 lb bags/boxes, plain or flavored, Rice & Pasta Sides – Such as Knorr Pasta or Rice Packets, Tomato/ Spaghetti Sauce – Cans or Plastic jars. We also need Diapers - Baby and Adult, Feminine Products, Shampoo & Conditioner, Soap, Tissues, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, and Toilet Paper. Please ship or mail the items to my Re/Max Unlimited office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052
WCHI has been approved by Second Harvest Food Bank to provide Senior Boxes. We are very excited to bring this additional service to all our eligible Seniors. The rest of this article is to explain what a Senior Box is and how to receive one.
The PA Senior Food Box Program is a federally funded program that provides a monthly box of nutritious food to help low income seniors 60 years of age or older. The boxes are provided through Second Harvest Food Bank and are distributed through partner Food Pantries. A computer program is in place with Second Harvest and all the eligible Food Pantries so that the Senior can only receive one box at only one Pantry.
The 30-pound food box includes: six cans of vegetables, three cans of fruit, one bottle of juice, three peanut butter or beans, two cereals, two pounds of pasta or rice, two shelf-stable milk, two meat and one block of cheese. WCHI volunteers will put the box in your car. These boxes are in addition to the monthly food you receive at our Pantry. You will pick up both at the same time.
You must be at least 60 years or older to qualify. With a federal program, there are income guidelines based on the number of people in the household. For example, for a one person household, the income limit is $1,396 per month. For two people in a household, the limit is $1,888. No worries we have a chart by household size, annual, monthly and weekly income. No proof of income is required, but you will be signing a federal form that the information is true and correct.
We hope to start providing these boxes in January. There is minor paperwork that must be completed with WCHI and the Senior a month prior to receiving a box. Therefore, after our January 9th food distribution, I will set up a time to meet with you and register you at my Re/Max Unlimited Office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall. What information will you need at registration? Verification of Identification - Must Include Date of Birth & Current Address. A driver’s license is best, but other forms of ID are acceptable. Note: if you have additional people in your household, you will need to know their monthly income, birth dates, and names for each additional person.
A flier will be given to you at the food distribution on December 9th. See you soon!! Please call me with questions.
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.