WCHI has been selected through Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley to be one of three Lehigh County Healthy Panty Initiatives (HPI), which is a project of Feeding PA in partnership with the PA Department of Health. The goal of PA HPI is to increase access to healthy foods and beverages and chronic disease information to food pantry clients. The initiative also aims to support pantry guests in increasing their consumption of healthy foods by highlighting the healthy choices within the food pantries. At our Pantry, this is done with colorful notecards attached close to the healthier food choices.
Our Pantry provides food, when possible, that are recommended by USDA https://www.myplate.gov/ This info below is from MyPlate and focuses on five food groups – Fruit, Vegetables, Grains, Protein, and Dairy. To ensure a healthy diet, it is important to eat a variety of foods from each of these food groups.
Half of your plate should be made up of FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. Eat many different colors of fruits and vegetables each day. For a 2,000-calorie food plan, eat 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit daily. One cup is equal to 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables; 1 cup of raw fruit; 1 medium-sized orange, apple, or banana; 1 cup of 100% fruit or vegetable juice; 2 cups of raw leafy greens, such as lettuce spinach, or kale; or ½ cup dry fruit. WCHI provide several canned vegetables and fruits to choose from. Though inventory changes for all our products mentioned here and throughout this article, we have provided canned applesauce, diced pears, sliced peaches, fruit cocktail, mandarin oranges, and mango chunks. Canned vegetables include green beans, sliced carrots, spinach, diced tomato, corn, peas, and sliced potatoes. We also provide fresh produce boxes at every food distribution, when available, for our guests. The June 9th box included 2 lbs. of onions, 6-7 sweet potatoes, carrots, and a pineapple or cantaloupe.
One fourth of your plate should be GRAINS. Make at least half the grains you eat each day whole grains. For a 2,000-calorie daily food plan, eat 6 oz of grains daily. One ounce is equal to: 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of cereal, or ½ cup cooked rice, cereal, or pasta. WCHI provides elbow macaroni, wheat spaghetti, couscous, cornbread mix, pancake mix, instant oatmeal, and corn flakes.
One fourth of you plate should be PROTEIN. Eat a wide variety of protein foods, including meat, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, and tofu. For a 2,000-calorie daily food plan, eat 5.5 oz of protein every day. 1 oz is equal to 1 oz meat, poultry, or fish, ¼ C cooked beans, 1 egg, ½ oz nuts or seeds, or 1 tbsp peanut butter. WCHI provides canned tuna, chicken, salmon, lentils, chickpeas and black beans, peanut butter, dried nut and fruit packages, frozen ground beef and frozen tilapia fish.
DAIRY- Drink fat free or low fat (1%) MILK. Eat or drink dairy as a side to meals. For a 2,000-calorie food plan, eat or drink 3 cups of dairy every day. One cup is equal to: 1 C milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, or soy milk (soy beverage); 2 oz processed cheese, and 1.5 oz natural cheese. WCHI provides quarts and half gallons of milk, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and yogurt when available.
WCHI also provides other foods including 1. Ready to Eat Foods -beef stew, mac & cheese, tomato, vegetable and creamed soups, and spaghetti sauce. 2. Snacks – fruit/nut, raisins, and cookies 3. Condiments- grape jelly, low sodium beef broth, and pork base.
We also provide baby food, toilet paper and tissues, and other toiletries as available, such as shampoo conditioner, toothpaste, adult and baby diapers etc.
WCHI tries to provide a great variety of food for our low-income Whitehall and Coplay guests to provide just three days of food (9 meals) for each household member per month. Amounts given out varies by household size and are based on PA Dept of Agriculture’s The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). WCHI food is only a supplement to help our guests get through the month. For May we served 357 adults, 351 children, 151 seniors for a total of 859 people living in 236 households. WCHI provided food to prepare 7,731 meals in May.
A HUGE SHOUT OUT THANK YOU goes to Second Harvest Food Bank; Lehigh County Commissioners and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown for both approving Grants for WCHI; and to local citizens, community groups, and businesses for providing both food products and monetary donations to obtain what we need to help Whitehall and Coplay residents.
Have a wonderful week!!