I wanted to talk about our 2023 WCHI pantry attendance and the guests we serve. This is just a snapshot of three months this year. August numbers are not completed as of press time.
JAN APR JUL
Youth 0-17 351 347 356
Adults 18-59 420 453 433
Seniors 60+ 195 192 190
Total people served 966 992 979
Food items 5 meals/person 4,830 4,960 4,895
Total Households 251 260 251
New household registrations 17 13 13
Please take notice of the number of children, adults, and seniors we help monthly. We are feeding almost 1,000 guests a month. Guests do not come every month for a myriad of reasons: illness, no transportation, changes to work schedules, obtained a new job, etc. We would serve well over 1,200 people if every registered guest would attend every month.
Our Mission is to alleviate food insecurity in Whitehall and Coplay. We feel we do a great job but can always improve. WCHI is please to consistently register new food insecure households monthly. We are here to help. Please, if you know anyone who needs food in Whitehall and Coplay, please tell them to call us at 484-225-0358 to schedule a pantry appointment. We are open the 2nd and 3rd Thursdays every month from 9:30am-1pm and 4:30- 7 pm. We promptly close the doors at 1pm and 7 pm.
Many households do not have transportation. One guest rides a bike 1 mile to our Pantry and is extremely limited on what he can bring home. If you have a neighbor, friend, or family member who does not have transportation, can you please make the time to bring them? Or if you know or suspect someone needs food, can you offer to help them? Food insecurity is blind. Not many people will raise their hand and say I am hungry or can you help me. Many people do not want people to know their situation, are afraid what someone will think about them, or they are ashamed to ask for help.
No one should be hungry in this country. And NO ONE should be hungry here in Whitehall and Coplay. Besides our WCHI Pantry, guests can also attend Whitehall Food Pantry at St Stephens, 3900 Mechanicsville Rd. They are open Mondays 6:00- 8:00pm by appointment. Contact 484-246-5715. Also, for Coplay residents, the Coplay Food Pantry, in Coplay Boro Hall, 98 S 4th St is open the 2nd Tuesday every month from 8:30-10am. Please contact Jodi at 610.262.0928.
Second Harvest Food Bank is a major source of our pantry food but has been having low inventory for several months now. They provide food to 200 agencies in 6 counites. WCHI provides food for each of our guests to have meals for five days. WCHI relies on the public to donate needed food items. Our guests either like to prepare cooked meals and others like to have ready to eat food like tuna, soup, canned ravioli, etc. WCHI appreciates ALL donations: individual or planned food drives.
We request the following items: Boxes of Oatmeal, Boxed Potatoes, Canned Fruit (Low Sugar or Light Fruit Syrup), Canned Tuna, Cereal, Condiments (mayo, ketchup, mustard), Macaroni &Cheese, Jelly, Pancake Mix & Syrup, Pasta (all kinds: elbows, spaghetti, rigatoni, rotini, shells, etc), Rice 1lb bagged brown or white, Ready to Eat Items (Canned Ravioli, SpaghettiOs, etc), Any kind of Soups (Including: Creamed, Chunky, Chicken Noodle, Tomato, Vegetable, etc), Spaghetti Sauce, Stovetop Stuffing Mix. All food items above can be store brands.
These food items can be shipped to or dropped at my Re/Max Unlimited office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052 M-F 8:30am -5pm. The office is closed on the weekends.
Thank you and have a great week!!
Upcoming September WCHI events to put on your calendars along with good food info at the end of this article.
FREE COMMUNITY MEALS - WCHI, the faith-based community, and others are proud to provide these FREE, hot, sit-down meals to low-income Whitehall-Coplay residents twice a month. All are welcome to attend both meals on the 1st Sunday and 3rd Tuesday each month from 4-6pm. Please attend and bring your family and friends. These meals are delicious!!
Sunday, Sept 3rd - Muslim Association of the LV (MALV), 1988 Schadt Ave, Whitehall 703-346-8698
Tuesday, Sept 19th – Whitehall Active Community Center, 2301 Pine St, Whitehall 610-533-1357
Questions about hosting a meal for 2024 or a guest wanting more info, please contact Karen Haberern, Program Chair at 610-730-3184.
BINGO – Sunday, Sept 10th Doors open at 1 and bingo starts at 2 pm at St Peter Roman Catholic Church, 4 S 5th St Coplay. Jackpot is $200. Play 15 Board games and 5 paper specials. BYO chips and dabbers. Food is available for purchase. All proceeds benefit WCHI. Please bring a food item for our Panty. Any kind of canned soup would be great!! For more info, contact Liz Rogers, Bingo Chair at 484-274-6687
FREE CLASSES “LEARN TO EAT HEALTHY ON A BUDGET” – Sign-Up now for these classes with Julie Davitt, Nutrition Education Adviser, at Penn State Extension, Allentown 484-857-2736 or firstname.lastname@example.org Julie will teach the classes in partnership with WCHI in the white building behind our Pantry at 3024 S Ruch St, Whitehall. Classes run October 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th from 10am- Noon.
Topics include-Delicious Recipes; Smart Shopping; Meal Planning and Preparation; Food Safety; and Nutrition. Learn more at www.extension.psu.edu/nutrition-links Upon class completion, each participant will receive kitchen tools and a certificate of completion.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR THIS PROGRAM? Parent or caregiver of children who qualify for free or reduced school lunch or WIC. Adults who qualify for SNAP, food pantry boxes/bags, and Pennsylvania farmers market vouchers.
12 Simple Ways to Increase Fruits, Vegetables and Beans/Legumes at Meals from FeedingPA.org
Needed Pantry items: Any kind of canned fruit, canned soups, canned low salt mixed vegetables, and any kind of pasta.
Please deliver to my RE/MAX Unlimited office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall Monday-Friday 9am to 5 pm.
I hope you found this week’s article informative and interesting. Have a great week!!
I wanted to write this week’s article on Volunteerism. A heartfelt THANK YOU is extended to every one of our selfless volunteers, who help in so many ways to feed the food insecure residents of Whitehall and Coplay. I also want to thank the volunteers, who are not normally scheduled for distribution days, who helped while others were on vacation this summer. With everyone’s time and talents, our WCHI volunteers are feeding almost 1,000 residents a month. As our Pantry guest attendance continues to grow, we truly need many more volunteers to help WCHI both behind the scenes and during pantry day distributions.
There are a lot of behind-the-scenes activities that occur throughout the month i.e. 1. ordering and picking up food from Second Harvest Food Bank; 2. Purchasing food and toiletries from several local stores; 3. Loading our vehicles with the products and bringing them back to the Pantry; 4. These items then get carried by hand into the pantry and put on rolling racks and sent to their dedicated areas in the Pantry; 5. These items are loaded onto skids or rolling racks and marked State and USDA Food or general donations from the public; 6. Then the inventory is stocked on appropriate racks for our Pantry guests to choose from during distribution days.
On distribution days, our volunteers do specific jobs including: 1. Welcoming our guests as they arrive; 2. Registering our guests; 3. Shopping with our guests throughout the Pantry; 4. Providing fresh produce from our WCHI Garden; along with any produce available from both Second Harvest Food Bank and grown by Whitehall and Coplay residents in their personal gardens; 5. Providing dog and cat food when available; and 6. Unloading the bagged or boxed items from our shopping carts into our guests’ cars.
WCHI is extremely fortunate to have dedicated volunteers. Some are retired; some work and help when they can; and others work during the day and hep in the evening on distribution days. We have teachers and others from several school districts, that help us over the summer while school is closed. Several volunteers are students aged 12-17. And some of our pantry guests are working on their clearances to help us, too.
“Volunteering is important for many reasons including stress reduction, combating depression and providing a sense of purpose. It offers essential help to worthwhile causes, people in need, and the wider community. Volunteerism is also important because it helps eliminate poverty and improve basic health and education.” Calvin Holbrook https://tinyurl.com/5dyk8xsu
WCHI is a 100% volunteer based 501c3 Non -Profit Charity. No one receives a salary. Can you or someone you know volunteer with us? You will love your fellow volunteers.
Because we do work with children, we are all required by the State to obtain full child abuse clearances. Please go to https://tinyurl.com/32cndjdw to find out more. Do not let the list intimidate you. Many are read and sign forms. We do reimburse for fingerprinting. I have completed the clearances in less than two weeks, and I have a full-time job. There is no time frame limit for completion, but all clearances must be received so we can email you volunteer opportunities. Once we have everything, the clearances are good for five years. Students, 12-17 years old, just need to read and sign a code of conduct form and a WCHI form signed by a parent. WCHI does have school clubs help us and individual students also. We do sign school forms for community service hours. Please email, Sylvia Lee, our Volunteer Chair at Volunteerme.Lee@gmail.com with any questions you may have.
WCHI needs the following food items: Any kind of boxed pasta; macaroni and cheese; chicken noodle, tomato, and vegetable soups; and low salt canned mixed vegetables. Fresh Produce is also appreciated from your personal gardens. These items can be dropped or shipped to Shari Noctor, Re/Max Unlimited, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052. My office is open for deliveries Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm and is closed on the weekends.
Thank you and have a great week!!
8/3/23 Pantry Garden article Contributed by Gwen Herzog, WCHI Pantry Garden Chair
What do you get when you combine sunny, hot days, warm nights, ample rain, great soil, well-established plants, and a great group of volunteers? You get one rocking garden! I am writing this article on July 27th and this week we were able to pick 47 zucchini, 22 yellow squash, 28 bell peppers, and 6 tomatoes. Our zucchini and yellow squash beds are really loaded up with plants and wow – they keep producing and producing. Even with all we picked in July, there is a constant supply of new growth which means a constant supply of new vegetables to pick. I’m not going to lie, when we were planting the seeds, I did drop 3-5 seeds in each hole I dug, so there are lots and lots of plants in each bed. So many that it can sometimes be a challenge to monitor and get in there to pick. I also think that from the time I arrive at the garden to cut the grass and when I get ready to leave, the zucchini have grown larger! I know this is not likely the case, but I’m sticking to my story.
At the beginning of July, a large quantity of tomato plants in pots were dropped to Shari Noctor’s office. We promptly planted them in a portion of our “U” bed, caged, and watered them. While they are a little smaller than the rest of the tomato plants, they are growing well and about to flower. Thank you to our mystery donor for this great gift!
As you know, with any vegetable garden there will be issues. After treating our eggplants for flea beetles, we are now seeing lots of flowers and a few small eggplants. The groundhogs have also seen the small eggplants and have taken a few bites, so this bed was fenced. In early July the leaves of our pepper plants started getting eaten prompting treatment, but pepper production has not been impacted. While it has been exciting to see some of our early tomatoes change color, the groundhogs have been eating the change. The tomato bed has therefore been fenced but it is not fully deterring these determined critters, so more aggressive action will have to be taken.
As I mentioned in my last two articles, WCHI is a Lehigh Valley Plant-A-Row drop off center. If our pantry cannot give away donated produce through our monthly food distribution or at our free community meals, it will be shared with another food pantry. On July 24th we donated 18.1 pounds of vegetables we grew at our WCHI garden along with donations to the food pantry at St. Stephen’s Church. Don’t forget, any extra produce you grow will help to feed a food insecure household when you donate it to WCHI and Lehigh Valley Plant-A-Row. Call or text me at 610-379-6823 to arrange for pick up or you may drop it at Re/Max Unlimited Real Estate at 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall M-F 9 am– 5 pm.
Although it is hot outside, we are planning our fall weather crops. Our plan is to get winter squash seeds into the ground very soon and try again to grow some cabbage and cauliflower. We plan to purchase some plants from The Seed Farm in Emmaus. Located at 5854 Vera Cruz Road, The Seed Farm will be holding their fall plant sale Saturday, August 12th and Sunday, August 13th. A partner of Second Harvest, plants are grown using organic practices. Why not try some fall crops in your own garden?
We always need help to weed, water, plant, harvest, and control ground hogs. Please join us at the Mickley-Prydun Farm at 3540 South Ruch Street, Whitehall on Tuesday evenings at 6 p.m. We love having visitors!
In case you were wondering, here is our year-to-date harvested vegetable tally: 129 zucchini, 80 yellow squash, 21 bags of radishes, 15 tomatoes, and 28 bell peppers.