A new home, a new pantry!
In October 2021, the Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank moved to our current location to open a Client Choice Pantry.
A Client Choice Pantry allows clients to select their own food instead of receiving a prepacked or standard bag of groceries. With this method, clients do not have to take items they already have, do not like, or cannot eat for health or personal reasons and they choose items that are most needed in their home.
Our pantry offers shelf-stable foods such as canned vegetables and beans, pasta and rice, pasta sauce and soups. There are also refrigerators and freezers loaded with fresh and frozen produce, meats, and dairy products. Additionally, we offer clients personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and shampoo when available. Laundry and dish detergent are also offered.
The most impactful benefits to having clients select their own items provides a sense of dignity and self-respect. Unlike an anonymous hand-out, giving clients the choice allows them to make decisions for themselves. This opportunity to restore and retain personal dignity is a key component to helping people get back on their own feet and break the cycles of poverty. Knowledge that one can control at least one small component of their life gives people the self-confidence to take charge of other aspects of their life, and helps them onto the path of self-sufficiency.
The food bank is recognized by Feeding Pennsylvania as a PA Healthy Pantry. As such, we are committed to supplying nutritious food and improving the health of our clients. In addition to increasing access to nutritious food, nutrition educators are available to encourage the consumption of those foods through environmental changes as well as direct nutrition education such as healthy food tastings, demonstrations, recipes, classes, etc.
Summer Snack Bags is a program that provides breakfast and lunch meals and some snacks to school age children throughout July and August. Children who typically get these meals at their schools, are happy to receive these bags when not at school for the summer.
Since 2021, we have partnered with Meals on Wheels to provide additional food for their clients. Meals on Wheels provides a hot meal to their clients daily from Monday thru Friday. The food bank provides shelf stable food these clients to consume on the weekends.