I wanted to write part of this week’s article on Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania (SHFB). This is to inform you what they do for the community and what they do for Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative. The SHFB info comes directly from their website https://shfblv.org/
“SHFB mission is to obtain food and distribute it to people in need through area non-profits, and to provide resources for education and advocacy to end hunger.
In October 1982, the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, Inc. (CACLV) created the Lehigh Valley Food Bank (LVFB). Starting with a network of about 15 agencies in Lehigh and Northampton counties, what has come to be known as Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB), today, serves 200 agencies in a six-county area: Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, and Wayne counties. From the beginning the two-fold objective of SHFB was 1) the distribution of food to needy people; and 2) the elimination of waste in the food industry. To discourage food industry waste, SHFB seeks donations of unsaleable, but edible, product from local companies.”
Second Harvest receives funding from the Federal, State and Local Governments along with private donations from the general public. WCHI and other Food Pantries in Lehigh County do benefit from food purchased by Second Harvest with Lehigh County funding.
WCHI has three accounts with SHFB. I wanted to inform you of the poundage of food we obtained and the value of the food received in 2021. The food that WCHI orders is FREE to us. WCHI could never serve as many households and residents as we do without our partnership with SHFB. A HUGE shout out THANK YOU goes to all the employees of Second Harvest. They all have been wonderful to work with.
Soup Kitchen account is for our Children’s Summer Feeding Program (CSFP) and our Free Community Meals. While most faith based partners do not request food from WCHI to prepare the bi-monthly meals, some sites do need some food items. Food for the CSFP makes up 99% of this amount. WCHI ordered 22,344 pounds of food for a value of $22,977.
Snack Pack Pals (SPP). WCHI fully administers the Snack Pack Pal Program (SPP) with assistance from WCSD and St Elizabeth’s Regional School. We had food items left over from the CSFP that we used for SPP. Therefore, we did not order as many items as we normally would. Total food ordered 1,628 pounds for a value of $2,062.
Our Food Pantry public attendance has more than doubled in one year and I reported our numbers last week. For 2021, WCHI ordered 122,297 pounds of food with a value of $133,068. WCHI does not have this kind of cash on hand.
SHFB is not a grocery store and not all items are available every week. SHFB provides WCHI 100% of our refrigerator and frozen foods and 97% of our fresh produce. The remaining 3% produce comes from our WCHI garden and the Knights of Columbus at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church. This 3% was used for our CSFP. The rest was all given to our Pantry guests.
I put out requests for items WCHI needs that SHFB does not have. Our community has been so generous in supplying many of the items we need. You can see these items at https://tinyurl.com/WCHIPantryList
Note: Refrigerated, frozen, perishable or homemade items WILL NOT be accepted due to food safety liability reasons.
Thank you all for your continued support to accomplish Our Mission: To alleviate food insecurity in Whitehall and Coplay.