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WCHI's Next Community Meal and 14 Staples for Your Pantry

Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative Logo featuring fruits and vegetables surrounding a plate with a fork and spoon atop it.

Hi Everyone,

WCHI’s next Free Community Meal is on Tuesday, December 21st at St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 835 Third St, Whitehall from 4:00-6:30pm. Note: the meals are guaranteed for the first 100 guests. Sometimes the meals are totally disbursed by 6 pm and the church closes. Directions: at the old school building on Third St, south of Grape St, turn on Quarry St, and turn right into the parking lot. Follow to the alley, turn right, and stop at the church door by the ramp to receive your meal. Questions, please call 610-533-1357. 

I took some of the food items below from a Taste of Home 2018 article that mentions items to donate to your local food pantry. I believe these items originally came from Feeding America. Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB) provides most of these staples to their member food pantries. SHFB and WCHI are providing healthy foods as much as possible. I liked this article because it shows why everyone should have these specific items in their kitchen pantry. Note:  Canned food will last at least 5 years past its best buy date and dry goods up to 2-3 years.

  1. Applesauce - Plastic jars of unsweetened applesauce provide a quick snack, fiber, and vitamin C.
  2. Canned beans - Loaded with protein and fiber, canned beans provide an excellent, nutritious way to fill a hungry tummy. Opt for the low sodium varieties whenever possible.
  3. Canned Chicken - It’s simple to toss this non-perishable item into soups and casseroles or add it to a sandwich or cracker. Its versatility and high protein content make it a popular item.
  4. Canned Fish (Tuna and Salmon) - Canned fish has vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein, and it makes for a quick and easy meal.
  5. Canned Meat (SPAM and Ham) - It is shelf stable, doesn’t require much prep or equipment to eat, and delivers a quick hit of protein to keep individuals feeling full longer.
  6. Canned Vegetables - Colorful, nutrient-dense, and fiber-rich, vegetables are always in high demand, and canned varieties last the longest on a food pantry’s shelves. Look for low sodium.
  7. Fruit, whether dried, canned, or in plastic cups, makes excellent snacks for kids and adults and provide some nutrition and fiber. Choose those that are packed in water or fruit juice rather than sugary syrups.
  8. Instant Mashed Potatoes - Last longer and require minimal tools and ingredients to whip up. They’re also a favorite of every age group, making them a popular item.
  9. Pasta - Easy to turn into a meal. Whole grain varieties offer more fiber and nutrition than white pasta.
  10. Peanut Butter - Kids and adults like it, and it’s high in protein. Look for varieties that are lower in sugar
  11. Rice - It’s filling, versatile, and easy to prepare and store. Skip the white stuff and use brown rice when possible because it provides more fiber.
  12. Shelf-stable and Powdered Milk - No refrigeration is required to keep this milk fresh. It provides much-needed calcium and protein.
  13. Soup, Stew, and Chili - These canned or packaged items acts as a warm and filling lunch or dinner and often come complete with protein (meat) and veggies. If possible, try to find reduced sodium options.
  14. Whole Grain Cereal - Here’s another popular item with all ages, since whole grain cereal makes a healthy breakfast or snack. Select varieties that are low in sugar and high in fiber.

WCHI can always use instant mashed potatoes and canned soup. Please ship or drop off at my Re/Max Unlimited office, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA  18052.

Have a great week, and Happy Holidays!!