Allentown is often described as the fastest growing major city in Pennsylvania with more than 121,000 residents. However, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this bourgeoning city has been stifled by poverty and a lack of food resources. Allentown families have been especially hit hard with approximately 80% of students in the Allentown School District already living in low-income households.
That’s why Feed the Children and the Salvation Army of Lehigh Valley have partnered together to provide families with shelf-stable food and daily hygiene items when they need it most. As the demands for food have greatly increased in the Allentown and Lehigh Valley area, the Salvation Army of Lehigh Valley food bank has had to expand its reach. It has gone from serving 100 families twice a month to more than 300 families per month in a matter of weeks. The nonprofit also has an initiative in place where it regularly reaches out to the families it serves to assess if they need to receive an emergency box of food to “bridge the gap” until the food bank’s next distribution date.
“Feed the Children is an important partner to our organization because they help us provide a great amount of food to families through our food bank,” said Darien Huaman, Director of Social Services for Salvation Army of Lehigh Valley. “The product we receive also allows us to prepare care packages for our homeless population. We are also able to provide breakfast to participants every Monday and send each person home with shelf-stable food that they can use throughout the week. Feed the Children’s donation really helps us increase our services to our community.”
The food and personal care items the Salvation Army of Lehigh Valley is distributing to families are very much in high demand. Products such as laundry detergent, diapers, shampoo and lotion have tremendously helped those who are struggling financially. The increased need is unlikely to slow down, which is why Feed the Children is actively working with community partners like the Salvation Army of Lehigh Valley to reach different sections of the community, such as senior citizens, school-aged children, and the homeless population.
“We’ve seen more families in need in our community since the pandemic has begun,” said Huaman. “The most important resources we need, we have been receiving from Feed the Children. Through our partnership, we can offer an incredible variety to our participants and more importantly, food that can be eaten without having to be cooked or prepared. That’s a great thing for the homeless populations we serve.”
The power of partnership and donations make food possible for people everyday across America and the world.
If you are able, please take a moment today to make a donation. Any gift, no matter the amount, can be the difference between hunger and hope for a child.