Sadly, we had to end out Community Outreach Program (COP) on Thursday, October 22nd to keep our guests and volunteers safe due to reduced daylight for our 6-7pm distribution. We have enjoyed working with wonderful volunteers, donors, and all our guests since March.
This is just a temporary closure. Our new Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative Food Pantry will be located at St John the Baptist Church, Whitehall in the Christ the King school cafeteria. We are actively working on opening ASAP, but realistically the new Pantry may not open until December or January. We sincerely thank Rev. Msgr. Gerald E. Gobitas, Barbara Sukanick, and the Diocese of Allentown for believing in our mission and working with us.
Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative’s Mission is to alleviate food insecurity in Whitehall and Coplay. As you know I sit on the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council’s Food Access Committee. Food Insecurity is going to get much worse before it gets better. Numbers are already rising in the Lehigh Valley. Our own distribution numbers were the highest ever on October 22nd.
These are the last four distribution numbers for both the Whitehall and Coplay locations combined. I am not sure why the senior numbers were down. It is possible something else came up for them on Thursday.
As an aside, when Patricia Karo, WCHI Board Secretary, and I submitted the Lehigh County Cares Grant application in September, we had already helped 1,234 people as of 8/27. Some people came once, some came until they were able to go back to work, and some come every distribution. This number is much larger now since both sites have been adding new guests since then. I haven’t updated the data since I have been busy with the pantry. We hope to hear on the grant by the end of the month - fingers crossed. We asked for physical items to start the pantry like shelving, tables, refrigerators, freezers, etc.
To all the many, many Volunteers, and Lana Snyder, Jake Hausman, Larry Weiss, Jen Dietz, and Tom Noctor (who spearheaded the pantry), THANK YOU!! I also wanted to thank all the monetary and food/toiletry product donors that helped us over the last six months. We really appreciate each and every one of you!! COP provided many items thanks to your generosity. Our guests sincerely needed and appreciated all of your donations. Second Harvest has products for us to order, but the items on our website rarely are on their list. We still need the items on our website to fill the new pantry. Donations are still being accepted. Your monetary donations should be payable to WCHI and in the memo section, please write food pantry. The food donations still can be delivered to my office at 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052.