Grace Allentown food bank may have to serve 10,000 people next year

At Grace Allentown
Our food bank may have to serve as many as 10,000 people next year
By The Rev. Robert House
Sunday, December 7, 2008

It was Friday morning and I was arriving at the church to open up the administrative office. I drove past the entrance to our food bank which is open every Friday and noticed that a substantial line of people was waiting outside the door. It was one of the first chilly days of fall and I was concerned that some of the children might be cold. It was not like our volunteers to allow the clients to wait outside in bad weather. I hurried inside to see why we were allowing this situation.

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Local churches are feeling the financial crunch as demands get greater

Lizmillersoupkitchen2 Deacon Liz Miller is shown in the Kitchen at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bethlehem.

Express-Times Photo | BILL ADAMS

"The food pantry is pretty empty," says Trinity Episcopal Church of Bethlehem Soup Kitchen Coordinator Deacon Liz Miller. "So far we're fine because we've prepared for a rainy day. But the rainy day is now here."  The Soup Kitchen has served almost 1,500 more meals for this year through September than during the same period in 2007.

Miller is seeing an increase not only in numbers of people coming in, but how people are feeling as economic conditions have plummeted. "People are nervous and tense, and quicker to lose their temper," she says. "The dynamics of the economy have changed people's attitudes."

Churches are feeling it across the Lehigh Valley Ann McManus is program director of Second Harvest in Allentown, which supplies 180 local food banks, including churches. Together those agencies report a 26 percent increase in the number of households asking for help in Northampton and Lehigh counties, she says. "Almost every conversation I have about it with people at those agencies starts with, 'You wouldn't believe the number of new families that we are seeing. We've been talking about how the face of hunger is changing and it used to be that it was getting older and younger. But now we're seeing that it's middle class and across the board."

See the Nov. 6 Express-Times feature on Trinity Bethlehem and their soup kitchen, with comments by and a photo of Deacon Liz Miller here and here.

Prescription discount card for Lehigh County residents

Lehigh County recently announced a new prescription discount card available to residents of Lehigh County who do not have insurance. The card is free. Users can realize 20% + savings on the cost of their prescriptions. Download an English and Spanish version of a poster below.

Download prescription_discount_card.English.pdf

Download prescription_discount_card.Spanish.pdf


At Grace Allentown. Weed & Seed Job Placements Top 250 Mark

[This story was posted on the website of the City of Allentown, 09/11/2008]

More than 250 Allentown residents have been placed in jobs thanks to the City of Allentown Weed & Seed employment counseling program. Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Weed & Seed Coordinator Phyllis Alexander, Weed & Seed Employment Counselor Cecilia Rodriguez, Grace Episcopal Church Rector Father Patrick Malloy, Parish Administrator Bob House and employment program client Yendira Rosario marked the occasion this morning at a news conference outside the church.

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Cruising to Equity

AWE Children’s Ministries and our diocesan Episcopal Church Women will once again sponsor Cruising to Equity, an advocacy and prayer vigil project that invites congregations to join in prayer and action for children. It begins with the observance of the National Children’s Sabbath (sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund) and the Diocesan ECW’s collection of personal care kits for children at risk (babies to 16 years) at our Diocesan Convention, October 12-13. Flyers and Participation Guides may be downloaded here. The ECW poster detailing personal care items may be downloaded below. Children’s Sabbath Manuals are available for purchase through the Children’s Defense Fund site. Please notify Rosemary Kleintop if your parish intends to climb aboard this year’s campaign.

Download ecw_outreach_for_07_convention.pdf