Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry strives to feed and serve every member of our school community affected by and suffering from hunger.
To alleviate hunger one family at a time.
Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry was established in 2018 and was born from a deep desire to make a difference in the Parkland community. Gary Smith, a Parkland school bus driver, paved the way for Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry.
Mr. Smith drove the Sundstrom children to and from school for 5 ½ years. Sadly, Mr. Smith lost his life to cancer in the summer of 2016. More than just a bus driver, his death was devastating to the family. During his funeral service, the Sundstrom family learned just how giving of a spirit Mr. Smith had. They left determined to make a difference in the lives of others just as he had.
A year later hoping to honor Mr. Smith, the Sundstrom’s held a food drive in his honor. Coupled with their neighborhood and Mr. Smith’s church, they gathered enough food to feed 25 families at Fogelsville Elementary.
Looking for a place to donate the remaining food, Katrina heard about SMS C.A.R.E.S., a small, but mighty snack pack program benefiting the students at Springhouse Middle School. That's where Katrina met Joelle Strahler.
Joelle and Katrina quickly realized their shared desire to fight the growing issue of hunger in the Parkland School District. Four months later, the idea and plan for Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry was put in place.
Meet the Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry Team
Our Board Members and Volunteer Staff are the heart and soul of Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry.
Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry - Executive Director
Katrina is the Executive Director of Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Rich, for 18 years and has two children. From a young age, Katrina has had a passion for non-profit and a desire to make a difference in the lives of others.
Josh Early Candies - Owner/Manager
Amy is a fifth-generation owner/manager at Josh Early Candies, a family owned and operated business that is proud to call the Lehigh Valley its home. She and her husband, Jason, have three sons attending school in the Parkland School District. Amy has a background in social work and is driven to make a difference in the lives of others with her involvement in non-profit organizations and charitable initiatives throughout our community. She looks forward to serving the Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry mission helping to feed families affected by hunger.
Al Haddad, CIMA®
Morgan Stanley - Wealth Advisor, Senior Vice President, Portfolio Manager
Al has worked at Morgan Stanley his entire career, now spanning 33 years. Married to Jeanne for 35 years, he has three children and two grandsons. Besides work, Al has played and coached in the Parkland Community for over 28 years. Currently the head coach of the Parkland HS Girls Soccer, Al has used his charitable nature to foster the team's amazing charitable giving over the past decade.
State Farm Insurance - Sales Leader
Richard is the Sales Leader for State Farm Insurance in the Lehigh Valley. Rich and his wife Katrina have two children who attend school in the Parkland School District. Rich is passionate about the mission of Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry because he believes that no parent should have to worry about not having enough food to feed their family.
Spark Therapeutics - Head of IT Infrastructure Operations
Scott is the Head of IT Infrastructure Operations for Spark Therapeutics. He has been working in the technology field for over 25 years. Scott and his wife of 26 years, Joelle, have two sons who attended and graduated from the Parkland School District. Scott has volunteered his time and expertise to several Lehigh Valley organizations and is grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Parkland families through Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry.
Dr. Michelle Minotti
Parkland School District - Springhouse Middle School Principal
Michelle is the Principal at Springhouse Middle School in the Parkland School District, where she has led for the past 13 years. Prior to that, she was an assistant principal at SMS and PHS. She has been married for 15 years to her husband, Bob, and has three daughters, one who currently attends Springhouse. Michelle is an EPFP Fellow and an adjunct professor at Delaware Valley University and CLIU, where she teaches School and Community Relations and Leadership for Continuous Improvement. Michelle is a Challenge 5 United Way committee Member, working with the Parent Engagement Action Group. Michelle published her doctoral research on family engagement and community connections. She has established and supported programs such as Parent University and SMS C.A.R.E.S. to create a positive school culture. Michelle has been a leader in the Parkland School District for the past 18 years and is passionate about continuing to do what is best for students and their families in our community.
JC Ehrlich - Account Executive
Gary is an Account Executive with JC Ehrlich and has been a member of the Ehrlich Pest Control Team for 9 years. He is an active member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and proud to serve as Co-Chair of Events for the Ambassador Council. Gary has been married to his beautiful wife Kim for 9 years and they have 2 children together. Born and raised in the Lehigh Valley, he has witnessed the continual transformation and growth of the Lehigh Valley into one of the country’s fastest growing economies. With this rapid growth, more than ever, he has seen an increased need for community outreach and engagement to support those living in our own back yards. Truly believing in the vision and mission of Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry, Gary sees the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of some many in need.
The Food Trust - Associate Director for Research and Evaluation
Candace Young has 20 years of experience in public health program development and evaluation. She is currently Associate Director for Research and Evaluation at The Food Trust in Philadelphia where she has worked for 11 years. Candace evaluates program impacts and shares best practices for improving food environments and building healthier communities. She has advised food and nutrition organizations, public health agencies and foundations in more than 15 states on strategies to expand healthy food access. She has published research on impacts of farmers markets, corner stores, fresh food financing and other program and policy strategies. Prior to joining The Food Trust, Candace was Program Director for obesity prevention efforts at the New York City Department of Health, where she led development of “Health Bucks” healthy food incentives, policy regulations for calorie posting, and nutrition and physical activity standards for early childhood programs. She has a Master’s Degree in Community Nutrition and Program Evaluation from Cornell University and a Bachelor's Degree from Moravian College. Candace lives in South Whitehall Township with her husband and their two children.
Food Pantry Director
Snack Pack Director
Food Outreach Director
Please contact us today to find out how you can help address the issue of food insecurity in the Parkland School Community.
Meet the Creators of our original website
Our names are Forum Patel, Aishwarya Suresh, and Gabby Hare. We were 7th graders at Springhouse Middle School when we started this website. We participated in a Girls Who Code Club in the Parkland School District. When the club started, we were given the task of making a CS Impact Project. The purpose of that is a project that gives back to the community. After much thought and the help of our school's technology integration specialist, we decided to make a website for Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry. We really hope that this website can spread the word about this pantry that feeds those suffering from hunger in the Parkland School District.