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Expanding Food Access at Lincoln Elementary

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

Lincoln Food Pantry Highlight

After the COVID 19-stricken 2020-2021 academic school year, Bethlehem Area School District’s Lincoln Elementary School Backpack Buddies food pantry, sponsored by Second Harvest Food Bank, was shuttered. The program provided twenty students and families with much-needed support but, after closing, the need for food items in the Lincoln community only grew. CIS staff member, Gena Holmes, recognized the increasing demand and proposed creating a new food pantry program.

On November 8th, 2021, Lincoln Food Pantry officially opened to all students and families. Its primary access point is through a Google ordering form in which students and families fill out basic information and identify the food resources they need. The Google form, designed by CIS staff, allows Communities In Schools to track resources that are required. Those who need to utilize the program sporadically can access pre-made food bags available at the school's main entrance at all times.

Lincoln Elementary and Communities in Schools staff stock and distribute food from the pantry. Since the opening of the food pantry, 46 families have been served and over 450 items have been distributed so far. Funds to support the service were donated by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization and we are grateful to provide help for the students and families in need. Gena took the plan a step further and created a“community collection area” located at the front of the school where, if able, families are encouraged to donate food and financial support.

Communities in Schools of Eastern Pennsylvania is devoted to providing basic resources that help students succeed and families thrive. To learn more about how you can donate to the food pantry at Lincoln Elementary, please email Gena Holmes at



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