Though the weather was very hot on Thursday, WCHI had a great turnout of Pantry guests and WCHI volunteers at both the morning and evening food distributions. We served 121 households (95 Whitehall and 26 Coplay) comprised of 154 children, 179 adults, and 78 seniors (age 60+). We also registered 16 new households.
Thank you to all our dedicated volunteers, who all have completed our required clearances. Each person is very compassionate and works very hard with the many aspects of our pantry distribution – picking up and unloading food, sorting and packing the bags; due to Covid putting up our tables and pop-up tents to serve our guests who drive through one of two lines outside in the St John parking lot; bringing the bags outside to our many food stations, running and getting more inventory as the bags get depleted. But most especially these dedicated volunteers are helping those in need in our community. We are all making a difference in people’s lives. Our guests consistently thank us for providing much needed food and kindness. Some cry.
We were hoping to be distributing food inside the Pantry in September. However, we need to receive guidance from the PA Department of Agriculture who oversees all the food in PA and Second Harvest who also gets guidance from Feeding America. We are currently still mandated to be outside due to Covid.
We will be resuming our Free Community Meals as soon as we can. An opening date has not been set yet as we are still working on the logistics. We are having another public planning meeting to work towards this goal on Tuesday, Augusts 24th at 11 am in our Pantry at the St John the Baptist Complex, 3024 S Ruch St, Whitehall. Anyone can attend this meeting. Please call/text me for directions.
Prior to Covid, WCHI partnered with our faith based and other organization members to provide one or more of our 24 meals on the 1st Sunday and the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 4-6 pm. Hot, sit down meals were always guaranteed for the 1st 100 guests. The meal locations rotated throughout Whitehall and Coplay with a published list of the host site locations. Our guests received a hot meal and were able to socialize and make new friends. All our guests are low income residents of Whitehall and Coplay.
These Whitehall and Coplay organizations included: Commitment to Family & Community, Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church of Hokendauqua, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley (MALV), Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, St Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, St John’s United Church of Christ (Grape St), St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, and Whitehall Bible Fellowship Church. The Korean Church of the Lehigh Valley has done several food drives for WCHI and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -Day Saints have provided several cleared volunteers and they help us weekly and sometimes twice a week. Thank you to all of you.
At our meeting last month, we also had new parishes attending to obtain more information to also see about hosting a meal. Also, if any local Whitehall and Coplay restaurant or business would like to provide a meal for 100 guests, please call me so we can discuss the details.