I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our selfless volunteers who helped WCHI with our June 8th and 15th food distributions. WCHI is feeding close to 1,000 people a month. We did not have enough manpower to help on these two dates due to many dedicated volunteers being on vacation. I extended an invitation for help, and we had more than enough volunteers to help us this month. WCHI is 100% Volunteer and has a 501C3 Public Charity status with the IRS. THANK YOU again to all our dedicated volunteers!!
WCHI always can use more volunteers who can help during Pantry Distributions or other times throughout the month usually on Wednesday mornings. We can also use help at our WCHI Garden. State mandated clearances are required for volunteers 18+ years old. If you are a Catholic Parishioner, additional read and sign forms are required. Children and youth 12-17 can volunteer with parent acknowledgement with a read and sign form. Please go to https://tinyurl.com/WCHIforms to review the necessary forms and requirements. I would encourage more people to join us by attaining these clearances. They are valid for 5 years once obtained. WE all get along and are like one big family!!
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 produce boxes and any additional produce, when available; 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’s Panty Choice Racks include: canned fruit; canned vegetables; protein (canned salmon, tuna, & chicken when available, a good selection of canned beans, and peanut butter); rice and pasta; cereal; grains like oatmeal and mac&cheese; ready to eat foods like canned/jar sauces, bagged chili, and soups; snacks; condiments; baby food and diapers; coffee (ground, whole bean and K-Cups when available); adult diapers, feminine products; toiletries: toilet paper, tissues and other items like toothpaste, when available; frozen food and refrigerated food like milk, cheese, and eggs when available; and 10 lb produce boxes plus bagged fruit; and dog/cat food when available.
WCHI orders, receives, and distributes approximately 14,000- 18,000 pounds of food a month from Second Harvest Food Bank. We also get 2,700 pounds a month of fresh -10-pound produce boxes (June’s box included bagged onions, loose sweet potatoes, a squash, and a pineapple) and additional other fresh produce like bagged tangerine when available. With the current economy the available items have decreased from 250 a year ago to about 105 today. In May, Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley hosted a huge food donation event at their location specifically for WCHI. We were on site and received 2,000 pounds of food that day. Taylor Villas, a 55+ housing subdivision in Whitehall, also hosts several food drives for us, as does Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Egypt. All this donated food has been distributed in June. And just this week, WCHI received approximately 2,000 pounds of assorted canned beans from Catasauqua School District that was donated to them.
We are extremely grateful for all the public support!! We currently need: canned fruit (not cups); small and large cans of tuna; cereal; mac& cheese; and any kind of pasta. Please note: a local store manager said the store brands are the same as the major names. Most are the same food; they are just packaged with the local store name. These are usually much cheaper, and we accept any donation.
Monetary donations are also appreciated since we do purchase needed items. Please make your check payable to WCHI and write food in the memo section. Food and monetary donations can be dropped, mailed or shipped to WCHI-Shari Noctor, at my RE/Max Unlimited office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052. The office is open Monday-Friday 9-5 and is now closed on the weekends.
Also, WCHI is part of Plant a Row Lehigh Valley. If you have additional vegetables you are growing in your garden or would like to donate a plant or two, these can be put on the table in my foyer. We will give these vegetables to our guests at our Pantry distributions and at our two monthly Free Community Meals. If the vegetables are donated at other times of the month, Gwen Herzog, our Garden Chair and Plant a Row Representative, will add the plants to our garden and will make sure the fresh vegetables are given to low-income people who will use them.
THANK YOU ALL and have a Great week!!I