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!!
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