Community Encouraged to Donate Food

An image of food items donated to a food pantry.


An image of food items donated to a food pantry.

While SLSD typically has a low rate of free and reduced lunches compared to other districts, the financial stressors created by the pandemic have increased the rate of food insecurity for many in our district. In order to help combat this, the Southern Lehigh High School has created its own food bank for students and their families in addition to the “grab and go” lunch program.

The SLHS Food Bank is the brainchild of assistant principal Mr. Thomas Ruhf, who runs the food bank with the help of high school principal Mrs. Beth Guarriello, nurses Mrs. Barbara Bracalente and Mrs. Lauren Wieder, and secretary Mrs. Lynn Kovecses. School resource officers Brian Mc Laughlin and Micheal Borso have been helping to deliver food to families.   

Contributions of both food and financial support to help keep the food bank stocked have come from a variety Southern Lehigh organizations including Mrs. Wall’s Baking a Difference Club, the Saucon Valley Rotary Club, the Southern Lehigh Music Parents, the SLHS Track & Field Booster Club, and the SLHS Soccer Booster Club.

Food insecurity extends beyond the Southern Lehigh School District and throughout the Lehigh Valley.  Mr. Alan Jennings, President of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV), notes that while the three major cities in the area, Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton are always in need, the current COVID-19 pandemic is worsening the problem. The need for food in rural and suburban areas is also growing.

Those seeking to donate food or school supplies to the Southern Lehigh High School Food Bank can do so at the high school main entrance by the flagpole during the hours of the grab-and-go lunch program, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, not including holidays. 

The food donations must be able to be stored without refrigeration.  Specific needs include canned meals such as prepared pastas, hearty soups, or meal bars.  In addition, Mrs. Guarriello said “paper, notebooks, folders, pencils, small gift cards, and backpacks would also always be appreciated.”

Please remember to do your civic duty and maintain social distancing, but also remember that helping those in need is also part of one’s civic duty.