Whitehall-Coplay Food Pantries
The Whitehall and Coplay Food Pantries provide much needed food for our residents. As you heard me say many times before, NO ONE in this country as rich as we are, should ever be hungry. This really bothers me and so many others. Food insecurity in America was almost wiped out due to provisions President Johnson’s administration put into law back in the 1960’s. Sadly, fifty years later, we still have food insecurity. I’ll get off my soapbox and save this story for another day.
Whitehall residents can obtain food from the Whitehall Pantry by showing proof of residency, a photo id, and meet state income eligibility. The Pantry is open every Monday from 6-8 pm and is located at St Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 3900 Mechanicsville Rd (near the high school) on the left rear side of the church building. Residents may receive food once a month and should make an appointment with Doreen Wagner, Director of the Pantry, at 484-246-5715.
The Whitehall Pantry is run by a coalition of churches: St Stephen’s Episcopal, Faith Lutheran, St John’s UCC on Grape St, St John’s UCC Mickley’s, St John’s Lutheran on 3rd St, and First Presbyterian of Hokey. Many volunteers are needed behind the scenes to make this mission a success.
The Pantry gets food from Second Harvest, Walmart, Weis, Bonefish Grill, Chick-fil-A, and Entenmann’s. The local Boy Scouts and the USPS each organize a food drive once a year providing additional needed food. (Please do not donate open boxes, outdated items, or damaged/dented cans. The donations are sorted and these items are discarded). Many local churches, civic organizations, and residents provide food and monetary donations on a regular basis throughout the year, which is essential to the Pantry. Food items needed include: coffee, pasta/noodles, canned vegetables, pasta meals (i.e. hamburger helper, etc), boxed mashed potatoes, canned fruit, canned soup, cereal, pasta sauce, and large bottles of juice for monthly distribution. Items may be dropped off at the Pantry on Monday between 5 and 6 pm.
David Cool, Agency Relations Coordinator at Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley & Northeast PA, provided the Whitehall Pantry data from July 2018 through January 2019. On average, the Whitehall Pantry has served 193 adults, 106 seniors, and 73 children a month. These numbers would be much higher if more residents had transportation to get to the Pantry or it was open at a time when the residents are not working. Yes, many food insecure people are the working poor. David says “Second Harvest Food Bank needs volunteers every month to help with packing, sorting, or Free Friday. For more info, please call 484-287-4015 and ask for Ida.”
Second Harvest also provides Senior Boxes aka Sunshine Boxes, which are also available to Whitehall & Coplay residents. Whitehall Pantry serves about 20 senior boxes each month. To qualify, a resident needs to be age 60 or older and fall under the 130% poverty level (income: yearly – $15,782, monthly – $1,316, weekly – $304). These boxes are in addition to the monthly Pantry food. The boxes usually include 4 cans of vegetables, 2 large bottles of juice, 2 cans of fruit, 1 meat (canned chicken, beef stew, or chili), 2.5 lb block of cheese, 2 shelf stable milk, 1 peanut butter, 2 boxes of cereal, and 1 pasta or rice. Dry milk is provided 6 times a year. Coplay residents are also encouraged to take advantage of this program by going through the Whitehall Pantry. For more info, please contact Renee Gombert at 484-358-6722.
Jodi manages the Coplay Food Pantry at the Municipal Building at 98 S 4th St. The Pantry is open to Coplay residents the second Tuesday of each month from 8:30-10:00 am. Proof of residency is required when applying for food. Staples such as spaghetti sauce, small peanut butter/jelly, crackers, coffee, and any type of paper products are appreciated. Please call Jodi at 610-262-0928 with questions.
Food and monetary donations would be greatly appreciated at both the Pantries listed above. A big thank you goes out to Doreen, Jodi and all the volunteers and the public who donate to so much time, talent, and treasures to help feed our neighbors. The recipients are also very thankful to all of you.