Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry strives to feed and serve every member of our community affected by and suffering from hunger.
Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry was established in 2018 by a dedicated group of individuals with a collective goal to fight hunger in their community. Determined to aid the nearly 27% of children and their families in the Parkland community suffering from hunger, the idea and plan for Parkland C.A.R.E.S. was put in place.
In June of 2019, the Pantry opened its doors for the first time to just 12 families. Two times a month, families were invited in to the Pantry to shop for the items that best suited their needs. They were welcomed to the aromas of fresh brewed coffee and pastries along with friendly smiles. They then shopped the Pantry shelves and refrigerators for non-perishable goods, milk, cheese, meats and fresh fruits and vegetables. By December of 2019, the Pantry had fed over 100 households.
Then in March of 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, everything changed. Parkland C.A.R.E.S. rapidly switched from a Choice Pantry model to a Contactless Drive Thru Distribution twice monthly at Kernsville Elementary. While attending the distribution, families receive non-perishable food, fresh produce, eggs, meat and other donated items. Parkland C.A.R.E.S., along with Second Harvest Food Bank, Crooked Row Farms, Orchard Hills Church, Life Church, West Allentown Rotary, Derstine’s and many more community partners, continues to fulfill its mission even in the most difficult of times.
Parkland C.A.R.E.S is proud to serve its community alongside its dedicated board, volunteers and all the businesses and organizations that continue to ensure that no child, family or individual should ever go hungry, no matter the circumstance.
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 the Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry. Her desire to help those in need goes back to her early days spent working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Rich, for 20 years and has two children who attend schools in the Parkland School District. She is a member of the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Allentown West. Katrina is proud to be the Co-Founder of Parkland C.A.R.E.S. and is dedicated to fighting hunger in her community.
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.
SSI Fire & Explosion Protection- Customer Account Specialist
Gary is an Explosion Protection Customer Account Specialist with SSI and has been a member of the SSI Team since 2019. 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 since 2010 and they have 2 children together, Nora and Remy. 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.
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.
New Leaf Consulting, LLC - Founder, Owner
Candace Young has worked for over 20 years in program development and evaluation. She evaluates program impacts and shares best practices to build healthier communities. Candace has advised food and nutrition organizations, public health agencies and funders in more than 15 states on strategies to expand healthy food access and reduce food insecurity. Prior to starting New Leaf Consulting, Candace was Associate Director for Research & Evaluation at The Food Trust, a Philadelphia non-profit (11 years) and Program Director for obesity prevention at the New York City Department of Health (6 years). She has a Master’s Degree in Community Nutrition and Program Evaluation from Cornell University and a Bachelor's Degree from Moravian College. She lives in South Whitehall Township with her husband and two children.
Food Pantry Director
Snack Pack Director
Please contact us today to find out how you can help address the issue of food insecurity
in our 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.