Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley (MOW), BrightStar Care of Stroudsburg & Allentown, and Compassionate Care Hospice partnered with Friends of Pete to present a “Spring into Giving Food Drive” to provide needed food items for the Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative (WCHI) Food Pantry on May 18th from 4-7 PM. This event was held at the MOW’s location at 1302 N Sherman St, Allentown. The event also included 35 local business vendors, networking opportunities, snacks, prizes and tastings courtesy of Sherman Street Brewery and Tolino Vineyards. Many food donations also came from residents of the Midway Manor Housing Development across the street from MOW.
This was the 4th Food Pantry event MOW has hosted to provide much needed food to local Food Pantries. The other three prior Food Pantry Beneficiaries include: Allentown Ecumenical Food Pantry, Central Moravian Food Pantry, and Easton Area Neighborhood Center.
MOW printed and distributed fliers for this event, which included the sponsors, the time and place of the event, and the needed food items from our WCHI website https://tinyurl.com/yc2vdns3 Food donations poured into the MOW parking lot for the entire three hours!! WCHI received cereal, instant oatmeal variety packs, pasta/spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, easy to open canned vegetables, canned chicken and tuna in water or pouches; reduced sodium chicken noodle and vegetable soups; canned beans; canned fruit and fruit cups in water or light syrup, plus other food items, and monetary donations. We also received a huge box of tote bags for our guests to shop at our Pantry from Patriot Home Care.
WCHI also supports MOW by providing additional monthly food from our Pantry to 8-12 homebound MOW clients. Karen Haberern, a MOW representative, who is also a WCHI Volunteer and WCHI Board member, delivers the shelf stable food to these households. They are also included in our monthly food distribution household attendance numbers.
Overall, MOW serves 2 adults and 67 seniors ranging from 38-98 years old in Whitehall and serves 11 seniors ranging from 61-92 years old in Coplay. An interesting fact is that MOW prepares and delivers 24,000 meals a month to their clients that live in their market area: Lehigh, Northampton, and lower Carbon Counties. For more info on Meals on Wheels, please go to https://mowglv.org
I have known Erik McGaughey, when he was at the American Cancer Society, and I chaired the Relay for Life here in Whitehall back in 2012 and 2013. Erik is now the CEO of MOW since 2022. Congratulations, Erik!! He and I think a lot alike. Erik says “Changing one life is a big deal! With what is happening between the Food Panties and the work of Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley, we are changing neighborhoods, cities, and the entire greater Lehigh Valley.” And as I always say, “WCHI is making a huge difference in people’s lives.” Both Meals on Wheels and WCHI need more volunteers, more financial contributions, and we both want to be able to serve many, many more people who need our assistance.
You too, can host a food drive for WCHI. We currently need canned fruit, canned tuna, any kind of pasta, and canned beans (kidney, black, pinto, chickpeas, etc) for our June and July food distributions. We are feeding close to 1,000 Whitehall and Coplay residents a month. These items can be dropped off at my Re/Max Unlimited Real Estate office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall Monday through Friday 9am-5pm. Monetary donations are also appreciated. Make your check payable to WCHI or Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative and write food in the memo section and mail or drop off to me at my office mentioned above. WCHI is a 501c3 public charity and your donation may be tax deductible. Please check with your financial adviser.
A big THANK YOU is extended to Meals on Wheels, and everyone associated with the fantastic food drive, held on May 18th at the MOW site. WCHI and all our guests thank you for your generosity and for being your selected Food Pantry this year!!
Written by Gwen Herzog, Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative’s Vegetable Garden Chair
What an amazing week we had at the WCHI garden! With the limited amount of rain recently, I was able to move the lawn mower deck down one notch and not stall out the mower. The groundhog re-opened the giant hole and once again, I was able to see it and avoid it. I refilled the hole with dirt, rocks, and the scrapings from underneath the mower deck. It appears that this critter has been feasting on our cauliflower and cabbage plants, but surprisingly not the Brussels sprouts.
Earlier this year, we had a robin build a nest and lay eggs in one of the flower boxes on our garden shed. A couple of weeks back the eggs hatched and suddenly there were four babies. I have a fear of birds, but since mama robin flew away to the fence whenever I got near, I felt comfortable observing these little ones close up. Monday the nest was abandoned, so I want to believe mama took her babies elsewhere with less activity. Look for photos of the hatchlings on our WCHI Facebook page.
On May 20th, Township Commissioner, Jeff Warren, graciously pressure washed the inside and outside of our water tank. Late last summer we experienced a small algae bloom and the inside of the tank became badly discolored. Jeff was committed to getting the tank looking good before it was filled this year. It took a lot of time and energy, but the tank looks GREAT. Thanks again, Jeff!
Tuesday evening was our first garden work night. Thanks to our volunteers, we were able to remove boards and cardboard, prep beds, plant, weed, and water. Sue Butchinski planted the pepper, tomato, and eggplant plants. Sylvia Lee and Jenn Dietz cleared beds and weeded, Tom Noctor rototilled, and I planted zucchini and yellow squash seeds. Finally, we all watered everything. Look for new garden photos on our Facebook page.
Wednesday evening the Hokey Fire Department delivered water into our newly cleaned tank. It may be another dry summer. Thank you to Mark Bilder and the entire Hokey Fire Department, now and in advance, for all the water they will deliver this year!
On Tuesday evening May 30th, the garden work plan includes: thin the radish, red beet, and carrot seedlings, prep and plant additional beds, cage the tomato and pepper plants, plant sunflower and other flower seeds, weed, and water. We welcome garden volunteers, but clearances are required. Please see www.tinyurl.com/WCHIforms for more details.
In May, WCHI’s Pantry provided food for almost 1,000 of our Whitehall and Coplay neighbors. Many of our guests tell us of the meals they will prepare using the fresh produce they receive. As you are planting your garden, why not plant an extra row or an extra plant and donate the vegetables to our Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative? All produce received will be distributed to our Pantry guests and given to our guests attending our Free Community Meals. You may drop your garden bounty at Shari Noctor’s Re/Max Unlimited office,1080 Schadt Avenue, Whitehall Monday-Friday 9-5. WCHI is also accepting any extra vegetable plants you may have. Call or text me 610-379-6823 to arrange for drop-off or pick up. Thank you in advance for all donations!
This week we learned that Shari Noctor’s Re/Max office will also be a local drop off site for Plant-A-Row Lehigh Valley, an organization that works throughout our local communities to help gardeners find a place to take extra produce. We look forward to this opportunity!
Finally, keep an eye out for our WCHI Garden Sign to be hung on our garden fence. You will be able to see it from the Ironton Rail Trail.
Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative (WCHI) is a PA Healthy food Pantry Initiative (PA HPI) as mentioned in previous newspaper articles. We strive to improve our Pantry food choices by offering low/no salt and low sugar food items, when possible. And we work closely with our Second Harvest Food Bank HPI Coordinator, Kim Slack, on a variety of healthy goals included food tastings and recipes during distribution days.
WCHI is also partnering with Penn State Extension Lehigh County to provide their FREE Nutrition Links program to our Pantry guests and others who qualify for the program. Julie Davitt, who is a Nutrition Education Adviser for Penn State and a WCHI Board member, will be teaching upcoming food educational classes.
The Nutrition Links classes will be offered this summer and in October in the morning for 1.5 hours each for four consecutive weeks. The location will be in the white social building behind our Pantry at the end of the Church parking lot. More info will be posted on our FB page and on our website https://tinyurl.com/WCHIprograms in the coming weeks.
This info comes directly from https://extension.psu.edu/nutrition-links “Participants in this free program complete in-person lessons featuring healthy eating tips on smart shopping, food preparation, and delicious recipes, as well as food safety lessons. Classes include hands-on activities and cooking demonstrations to reinforce the learning process. Our evaluation data demonstrates the effectiveness of the program's impact on participants' behaviors in food selection, dietary intake, management of resources, and food safety.
Participants are taught how to make positive changes to achieve good nutrition and health; Control portion sizes; Practice food resource management skills; Practice food safety in preparation; Practice safe storage and handling of food; Increase physical activity. 93% of participants made positive dietary changes. 78% of participants showed improvement in food resource management practices.
Nutrition Links provides research-based nutrition education to help people and families with limited resources enhance their nutrition, increase their physical activity, and develop life skills needed for self-sufficiency and better health. Our classes are a very rewarding experience for everyone, impacting the health and well-being of the entire family. We partner with many agencies in the community to enhance the services offered and reach the limited-resource audience. Nutrition Links is federally funded and supported by local resources/dollars. Funds come from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).
Nutrition Links Programs are for Families with young children (under the age of 19) living in either rural or urban areas who are responsible for the planning, purchasing, and preparing of the family's food; Pregnant women; Pregnant and Parenting Teens; School-age youth (5 - 19 years of age); Preschoolers and their parents.”
For more information, please contact Julie Davit at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and have a great week!!
In May when the weather gets warmer, I always like to do an article on Food Safety. People do not realize if food is undercooked or not held at proper temperatures, people do get sick and make visits to the emergency room. It is especially important just to remind you of some food safety guidelines and tips.
This valuable information is taken directly from “USDA Urges Consumers to Keep Clear of the Danger Zone This Summer” Released by USDA’s Food Safety Education Staff. Please read the entire article from, May 17, 2016, which still holds true today, at https://tinyurl.com/3s8pnk4e
“Summer cookouts are right around the corner and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is urging consumers to remember the four simple steps to food safety — Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill — and to steer clear of the “Danger Zone” while cooking outdoors.
What is the Danger Zone? The Danger Zone is the temperature range in which bacteria can grow faster. Bacteria can actually double in number in as little as 20 minutes when perishable food is kept in the Danger Zone. In order to steer clear of the Danger Zone, you should always:
As always, we remind consumers to follow the four steps to food safety when preparing dishes for a cookout:
I hope you found this article informative. Have a great week!!
**Written by Gwen Herzog, Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative’s Vegetable Garden Chair**
It was another amazing week at our food pantry! Guests were plentiful and all were treated to a taste of vegetarian chili made with both canned and fresh vegetables that could be obtained from the pantry this month. Our great volunteers were extremely busy checking in guests, shopping with guests, filling guests’ carts with refrigerated and frozen items, restocking shelves, and pushing carts up the ramp from the pantry to guests’ cars. I like to be busy, but by nightfall, I was ready for some down time to mentally prepare for Friday…AKA seed planting day.
If you attended Family Night at Whitehall High School on Wednesday evening and happened to stop by our table, you may have seen the cabbage seedlings on display. As I wrote in my last article, our plan is to get the brassicas planted in early May and then get everything else planted after Mother’s Day. To minimize cost, we are starting our plants from seed. Of the brassica seeds planted, only the cabbage germinated. My Friday seed planting included three varieties of tomatoes, three types of sweet peppers, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, and a replanting of brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Each of the 26 containers was planted with 5-9 seeds, labeled, watered, and covered with a sheet of clear plastic to keep in the moisture and warmth to promote quick germination. This year’s seed starting is taking place in my sunroom on a 6’ folding table. You can see a photo of our seed starting project on the WCHI Facebook page.
While we are waiting for our vegetable plants to go into the ground, garden cleanup is necessary. Last week I finally cut the “grass” between the beds. I place the word “grass” in quotes because the “grass” is mostly weeds. Speaking of weeds, the beds are loaded with lots and lots of lush, green weeds. Fortunately, we still have several weeks to get these cleared before it is time to get our plants into the ground. Tom Noctor has once again offered to be chief weeder. Thanks, Tom!
This year we will also address a problem we had last year: Groundhogs! Last year it seemed these unruly critters were picking off our large tomatoes, taking a bite or two, abandoning it, and then picking another one. I’m sure it was a good time for the groundhogs, but it was frustrating for our garden team. While cutting the grass last week, I located a deep, 7” diameter groundhog hole with no visible exit. Fortunately for me, I found the hole before my foot did. I filled it with grass I scraped from under the mower deck and topped it off with weeds pulled from one of the beds, so we’ll see if the hole is still active on the next grass cutting day. We also have holes under our shed and our wide, metal fence makes it easy for any groundhog, squirrel, rabbit, etc. to freely enter and exit the garden. In our shed I found some additional, temporary fencing that can be attached to the bottom of the metal fence. We will try this as a critter barrier this year, close the groundhog holes, and cross our fingers that no other action will need to be taken to preserve our garden. I will keep you updated on our endeavors in future articles. Wish us luck!
I hope your seed planting and garden prep is going well! Keep us in mind if you have any extra plants to share and if you have any available time to volunteer in the garden or inside the pantry. You can learn more about clearances required at https://tinyurl.com/WCHIforms Happy May!!
WCHI is pleased to announce that at the end of April, we have been providing our Whitehall-Coplay low-income residents INSIDE Food Pantry distributions for 1 full year. Time sure does fly!!
From January 2021 through April 2022 our selfless volunteers pre-packed all our food distribution items. We had multiple tables outside in the St John the Baptist parking lot with each table offering a different food type or toiletry items on our distribution days. Two lines of cars came through the parking lot for both our morning and evening distributions. Every guest received the same bagged items throughout the whole production line.
WCHI opened our inside Food Pantry distributions on May 12, 2022. Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB) is affiliated with 40 Food Pantries in Lehigh County and over 200 Pantries in a 6-county area. SHFB designated WCHI to be one of three Food Pantries in Lehigh County to be classified as a Healthy Choice Food Pantry, which includes providing guests with choices of low salt and low sugar items.
On distribution days, our guests have pre-scheduled appointments. Volunteers register each household. Our volunteers then walk our guests through the Pantry with a shopping cart – just like they are in a grocery store. The guests select their food items, and their bagged items are then placed into our guest’s car.
The number of items provided is based on the total number of people living in the household. Each household can select from canned fruit and vegetables; protein like canned tuna, chicken, salmon, beans & peanut butter; rice/pasta; ready to eat foods like Chef-Boyardee: cereal; grains; condiments; coffee; snacks; baby food; refrigerated food like milk, eggs, & cheese; frozen food; fresh produce; and personal hygiene products. Sometimes we have dog and cat food. All items are while they are available and while supplies last.
WCHI’s Mission is to alleviate Food Insecurity in Whitehall and Coplay. Truly, many people that live in our area are hungry and some have little or no food. I have witnessed this myself. Please note our 1st Quarter 2023 Pantry attendance below. We are feeding almost 1,000 people a month. No one should be hungry or be without food. If you or someone you know needs food, please call 484-225-0358 to schedule an appointment. Please help us help them.
We need the following food items: canned peaches, chickpeas, and tuna; 1-lb bagged rice or rice sides; boxed mac & cheese and pasta. Food can be dropped or shipped to my Re/Max Unlimited Real Estate office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall PA 18052 - Monday through Friday 9am-5pm. Our office staff no longer works on the weekends.
Monetary donations are also appreciated. Checks are payable to WCHI and can be dropped or mailed to Shari Noctor at the Re/Max Unlimited address above.
**Submitted by Gwen Herzog, Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative’s Vegetable Garden Chair**
Weeds are amazing plants! They grow when there is rain, they grow when there is drought, and some of them even grow throughout the dead of winter. I have noticed in my own garden that there are lush, green weeds that took hold sometime in mid-December. Currently, these weeds are competing with the encroaching grass, also green and lush, in a competition to take over my beds. For weeks now I have been telling myself, “One of these nice days I will pull those weeds and edge the grass.” Although intermittently we have had some warm weather, my “nice day” still has not arrived.
When I bought my house, many of the beds had been previously neglected, so the yard actually went all the way up to the house. My dad helped me to get the beds cleared via shoveling and tilling. One of my friends who owns a landscape service added enriched topsoil to the beds and then we mulched to try to keep the weeds down. It worked pretty well, so the next year we added enriched soil and mulched again. Because weeding has never been my favorite part of summer, mulching remains my efficient but relatively expensive method for controlling garden weeds and keeping watering to a minimum. Eighteen years later, my beds are amazing.
In my last article I shared with you that the Pantry Garden is located on part of the Mickley-Prydun Farm. While I am relatively new to the Whitehall area, many of you are probably familiar with this farm and you may have had the opportunity to eat some of the fruit, corn, and other vegetables grown on this rich farmland. When I started to volunteer at the Pantry Garden, I learned it was only the second year of the Garden’s existence. The Pantry Garden beds were absolutely loaded with weeds! One of our volunteers, Tom Noctor, pitchforked the beds to remove the weeds. Since the garden was still so new, it was understandable that the weeds and grass still held a stronghold, and it would take time to tame it.
Fortunately, last year we had an amazing group of volunteers that spent one hour each Tuesday evening weeding the garden, watering as needed, and picking vegetables. By routinely maintaining our beds all summer, we were successful in getting and keeping the weeds under control. As a result, our vegetable plants had plenty of space to grow and ultimately provided a large amount of produce for our Pantry guests. I anticipate that we will have lots of weeds and grass in our beds this spring, but by following the same or a similar maintenance routine as last year, we will get our beds into tip-top shape. Don’t forget, garden volunteers are always needed! No experience is necessary, but you must have your clearances. You can learn more about obtaining clearances at the Whitehall Coplay Hunger Initiative website at www.whitehallcoplayhungerinitiative.org.
THANK YOU!! A huge shout out and thank you goes to all our fabulous Volunteers, our monetary and food Donors, Second Harvest Food Bank, Diocese of Allentown and St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Lehigh County Commissioners for approving CDBG grants, Whitehall Township and Coplay Borough, Hokey Fire Department and Fire Hall members and volunteers, WCSD, and all the Whitehall-Coplay and Catholic School clubs and Lehigh Valley businesses that do food and toiletry drives for us. We could not do our programs without your support!! We are so blessed to have such a great group of interested and dedicated people all working together to help our community.
BINGO - WCHI will be offering bingo at St Peter Roman Catholic Church, 4 South 5th St, Coplay April 2nd on Palm Sunday. Doors will open at 1pm and bingo starts at 2pm. Please mark your calendars. Fabulous food is available to purchase. Children are allowed to play if accompanied by an adult. $15 entry fee buys you 2 bingo boards with four games. Each additional board is $1 each and a pack of 5 specials are $5. Bingo chips and dabbers are available for purchase on site and through Amazon or Jackpot Amusements, 5827 Colony Dr, Bethlehem 610-837-9240. This is our last WCHI bingo until September 10th. Questions and reservations, please call Liz Rodgers, Program Chair, 484-274-6687
FREE COMMUNITY MEALS -- WCHI, partnering with the Faith-Based Community and others, are proud to provide these FREE meals to low-income Whitehall-Coplay households twice a month. All are welcome to attend both meals on the 1st Sunday and 3rd Tuesday each month from 4:00-6:00pm. Meals are guaranteed for the first 100 guests and will be an inside sit-down meal at the host locations. There are no more takes out meals. WCHI will post a meal reminder on Facebook and Instagram and send a text to out Pantry guests.
We do not have a meal on April 2nd due to the Palm Sunday Holiday. Our next free meal is on Tuesday,
April 18th at Redeemed Christian Church of God, 5 N 3rd St, Coplay 610-262-8993. Questions about hosting a meal for 2024 or guests wanting more info, please call Karen Haberern, Program Chair, at 610-730-3184.
FOOD DRIVES—THANK YOU to our local Community members who have done or who currently are hosting food drives for WCHI with their friends, churches, housing subdivisions, service clubs, businesses, youth groups, boys & girl scouts, schools, etc. You can too!! Please call 484-225-0358 or register your food drive at https://tinyurl.com/WCHIdrive so we are aware and can thank you.
MONETARY DONATIONS--are appreciated and can be made payable to Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative, C/O Shari Noctor, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052. Please put in the memo section where you want your donation applied. The Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative is a 501 (c) (3) IRS approved nonprofit organization and your donation may be tax deductible. Please discuss with your financial advisor.
OUR SOCIALS--Please visit our website https://tinyurl.com/WCHIhome; Like us on Facebook https://tinyurl.com/WCHIfb Follow us on Instagram https://tinyurl.com/IGWCHunger .
Questions, call Susan, Communications Chair, 610-440-1659.
When I grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, many people volunteered their time to help people through their churches and social organizations. When I first started working in the 1980’s, my employer at that time, strongly suggested that each employee select a community project and provide community service hours. This was not mandatory, but many of us did volunteer a couple hours a month.
As the years moved on, I have seen less people volunteering and many have totally gone away from volunteering altogether. People’s lives are busier than when I grew up, but the need for volunteerism is still strong. I am happy that the schools require community service hours.
Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative is a 100% volunteer organization. We could never do any of our programs that help our Whitehall and Coplay residents without our Volunteer’s continued support, time, and talents. Our volunteers are a wonderful group of selfless people. And they all are really nice and work well together!!
Would you be able to help WCHI help others? All our volunteers must have state required criminal background clearances since we work with children. For a full list of our requirements and to register, please go to our website https://tinyurl.com/WCHIvolunteer Questions, e-mail Sylvia Lee, Program Chair, at email@example.com
I googled to see what benefits occur when people volunteer, and this info is from https://tinyurl.com/42avw7u2 Once on the site you may need to scroll up. The site is Helpguide.org and you may need to type in Volunteer.
“WHY VOLUNTEER? - With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right match can help you to find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.
Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.
VOLUNTEERING CONNECTS YOU TO OTHERS - One of the more well-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need. And volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.
MAKE NEW FRIENDS AND CONTACTS - One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. It strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.
INCREASE YOUR SOCIAL AND RELATIONSHIP SKILLS - While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, since you are meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests. Once you have momentum, it's easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts.
VOLUNTEEREING AS A FAMILY - Children watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you'll show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help other people and animals and enact change. It's also a valuable way for you to get to know organizations in the community and find resources and activities for your children and family.”
WCHI CHOICE PANTRY --We are located at St John the Baptist Church, 3024 S Ruch St, Whitehall. Our Pantry is open on both the 2nd and 3rd Thursday of the month from 9:30am-1pm and from 4:30-7pm. This is by appointment only and we close promptly at 1pm and 7pm.
Requirements: We serve Whitehall Twp and Coplay Boro residents. Please present two forms of ID to verify residency (a valid photo ID, if available, and/or utility bills). Income limits apply per the household size. For example: a household size of one person can have monthly income of $2,095 or less to qualify; a household of four people can have monthly income of $4,278 or less to qualify. No income paperwork is required. Please call 484-225-0358 to schedule your appointment.
Whitehall and Coplay residents can only visit once a month. First time attendees, come to the parking lot behind the Church and a volunteer will give your directions. For our guests, who have mobility issues, don’t worry. A WCHI volunteer will shop for you and bring the food to your car in the Church parking lot. No smoking is permitted anywhere on Church property.
WCHI is proud that Second Harvest Food Bank selected us to be one of three Healthy Food Pantry Initiatives (HPI) in Lehigh County, which offers healthier low fat and low salt products, when possible. After we register our guests, a volunteer takes them shopping though our Choice Pantry. Our guests choose from several food types: canned fruit and vegetables, protein (canned tuna, salmon, chicken, peanut butter), grains (includes rice/pasta/cereal), ready to eat food, condiments, snacks, coffee, baby food, refrigerated and frozen foods, and fresh produce. Our guests also have choices for toiletry items: baby diapers, adult diapers, feminine napkins, tissues, and toilet paper. All items are based on availability. Our guests tell us that they really like our Choice Pantry since they get to choose the items they will eat and the toiletries they will use. Questions, call Jenn Dietz, HPI Program Chair, at 717-880-8546.
SENIOR FOOD BOX PROGRAM (SFBP) offered through WCHI works to improve the health of low-income Seniors by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods. The senior food boxes do not provide a complete diet, but rather are good sources of the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of older Americans. Usually included in the 35-pound food box is: non-fat dry and shelf-stable fluid milk, juice, oats, ready-to-eat cereal, rice, pasta, dry beans, peanut butter, canned meat, poultry, or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables.
The senior box income guidelines are much lower than the Pantry income guidelines. The income guidelines include all the income for ALL the people living in the household. For example, a household size of 1 person can have monthly income of $1,580 to qualify for a senior box. In a four-person household, the maximum monthly income for all four people must be at or below $3,250 for the senior to receive a box. These limits just changed in March.
If there are two or more seniors living in the household and the total income is at or below the limit, each senior can have a box if they want one. Each person must fill out a separate form and everyone living in the household must be named along with their birthdates. Proof of the senior’s age is a requirement. This would be on a driver’s license. No worries if the senior does not drive. We still can qualify them. You may qualify for a Senior Box, even though you do not wish to obtain Pantry food.
WCHI is committed to helping as many low-income Whitehall and Coplay residents as possible in our area that qualify for the Senior Box Program. We also include homebound and mobility impaired residents. Please spread the word through your faith-based bulletins, and by telling your family, friends, and neighbors. Questions, call Gail, SFBP Program Chair, at 610-351-6412.