WCHI’s Children’s Summer Feeding Program is continuing to grow with more attendance every week. WCHI has 117 children registered. There are 4 site locations, and we are open every Monday and Wednesday from 10-11am. Registration is ongoing through August 24th for low-income Whitehall Twp and Coplay Boro children - a baby through age 18. Parents must register their children before our pre-bagged food can be disbursed. Program highlights include 5 shelf stable breakfasts and 5 shelf stable lunches per week (2 on Monday and 3 on Wednesday), Free books for the children all summer, Christmas in July, and Free filled backpacks for school age children in August. For more info call Sue Butchinski, Program Chair, at 484-767-6022.
WCHI is proud that Second Harvest Food Bank selected us to be one of three Healthy Food Pantry Initiatives in Lehigh County, which offers healthier low fat and low salt products, when possible. We are also pleased to be doing inside food distributions where our guests select the food items that they will eat. Our guests choose from several food types: canned fruit and vegetables, grains, ready to eat food, snacks, coffee/beverages, condiments, refrigerated and frozen foods, and toiletries. We also try to provide fresh produce, when available. Our guests have told us that they really like our “choice pantry” compared to our outside pre-bagged food items.
We are thankful that we are now doing inside operations just at the right time when food and gas prices started rising. Although these prices are affecting everyone, low-income residents on fixed income really need our support. They do not have extra money for food, toiletries, gas, and medicine. We have given out food several times in the last few weeks for people who have nothing to eat. For example, their net income is $800 a month, $500 goes for rent, and $300 is left for gas to get to work, and food. No one in America should ever be hungry. But this is a reality in Whitehall and Coplay.
Because of the increased need for food, our WCHI Pantry is now open the 2nd and 3rd Thursdays from 9:30am-1:30pm and 4:30-7:00pm. Everyone must have an appointment so that everything runs smoothly and efficiently for pantry operations. No worries, we will not be running out of food. For more info, please call WCHI at 484-225-0358.
I also wanted to let you know about two USDA Food Security Programs called the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Both provide WIC recipients and low-income Seniors with fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs from approved farmers in Pennsylvania.
FMNP –Eligibility If you are a WIC participant, you are eligible for $24 worth of vouchers if you are pregnant, breast feeding and/or postpartum. You are also eligible for $24 worth of vouchers for each child age 6 months to 5 years. You would receive the benefit during your quarterly WIC visit (May - September) and you will be given a list of participating vendors.
SFMNP – Eligibility Seniors are eligible for vouchers if they are or will be 60 years of age during the program year and have a household income at or below $25,142 for 1 person in the household or $33,874 for 2 people in the household. There are higher income limits for more people than two in the household.
How to Apply---Call the Lehigh County Aging office at 610-782-3255 to find out when and where they are distributing the checks/vouchers. In the past, Lehigh County social workers visited Senior Centers and Senior High-Rise apartments to distribute the vouchers.
How the Program works: Each eligible recipient receives 4-$6.00 SFMNP checks to redeem at a qualified farmer’s market or roadside stand. We are fortunate to have a location right in Whitehall. Lazarus Farm Market, 3605 Rural Rd. Lazarus is at the light where road forks on Mauch Chunk Rd and Rural Rd, across the street from Fellowship Community. They are open Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm, Sat: 9am-5pm. (610) 799-3831
Have a great week!!