Shari's Update - 12/26/21
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!!
Shari's Update - 12-17-21
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!!
Shari's Update - 12/12/21
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!!
Shari's Update - 12/5/21
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!!
Shari's Update - 11/28/21
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.
Shari's Update - 10/31/21
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.
Shari's Update - 10/24/21
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.
Shari's Update - 10/17/21
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.
Shari's Update - 10/11/21
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
Shari's Update - 10/3/21
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.