Partners Unite to Address Growing Food Insecurity in the Greater Lehigh Valley with New Full Cart Program
Many families and the agencies that serve them continue to see increased needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help address the ongoing food access needs of local residents, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) has partnered with U.S. Hunger, formerly known as Feeding Children Everywhere, and Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council to launch the Full Cart program.
Through this pilot program, 250 Lehigh Valley families are receiving boxes of food delivered directly to their homes. Each box contains 125 servings of shelf-stable food options that will serve a family of four for about 10 days or a single person for about six weeks.
“Hunger is most often linked to poverty, and the COVID-19 pandemic illuminated and magnified the non-economic barriers to food access that impact food security for many individuals,” said Susan Dalandan, Coordinator at the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council. “Those non-economic barriers include transportation, health and well-being, time, availability and opportunity as well as cultural and social customs. The Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council is excited to launch this partnership that addresses those barriers,” Susan added.
The Full Cart pilot program is made possible thanks to funding from BSI, Baker Foundation, City of Allentown CHAMPS grant, Roberta “Robin” Barnes and her husband Clark Chandler, as well as individual United Way donors.
“There is no business more important than supporting the most vulnerable in our communities that struggle with food insecurity,” said Anthony (Tony) DaRe, CEO of BSI. “Our BSI team is committed to doing whatever it takes to support United Way and the Full Cart program at this most critical time of need.”
The Full Cart program addresses the barriers to food access that cause hunger by partnering with donors, corporations and community partners to cover the cost of food and ship it directly to the front door of those in need.
“Once families are identified, they are given a voucher code and must complete the online survey form in order for the box to be mailed,” said Priscilla Rosado, Assistant Director of Food Access and Emergency Services at UWGLV. “This process eliminates any barriers regarding transportation for those unable to go to a grocery store otherwise.”
The Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council partnered with Community Schools to identify families in need through intake forms completed by families or Community School Coordinators. There are no income limit restrictions.
“We truly appreciate the ability to connect our families to additional resources that address food insecurity in our community. Thank you for your partnership,” said Paige Hoffman, Community School Coordinator for Fountain Hill Elementary School.
“I would like to say thank you to the Full Cart food program for allowing my family to be able to eat another day,” said a parent who received a Full Cart box. “Times like now are harder than others, and I’m appreciative for anything that comes my family’s way. Thank you.”
About the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council – We are a collective impact initiative of community residents and member organizations funded by UWGLV. We work to shape the landscape for regional food access, policy, and collaboration, leading the food system voice for protecting our land and employing and feeding our neighbors. We focus on accessibility, advocacy, aggregation, and collaboration in the local food system. For more information, visit www.lvfpc.org.