Local Organizations, Businesses Need Support During Coronavirus Pandemic

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SVFM peppers market support

Credit: Saucon Valley Farmers' Market

In this Saucon Source file photo locally-grown peppers are sold at the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market in Hellertown in the spring of 2018. This year’s market opens Sunday, May 3, and will feature some changes to help keep vendors and shoppers safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The market is held Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (with the first hour reserved for senior and high-risk shoppers) next to the Hellertown Area Library, 409 Constitution Ave., Hellertown, through November.

Many local businesses and organizations could use community support during the uncertain times brought about by the spread of COVID-19.

Businesses deemed non-life sustaining have been forced to suspend operations to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Small businesses like restaurants, which are allowed to remain open, have had to embrace a business model that allows only for sales of takeout, curbside pickup and/or delivery orders for the time being.

Additionally, Gov. Tom Wolf extended Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order through May 8, forcing residents of the commonwealth to shelter in place for additional time. Although some northern counties will have a partial reopening Friday, the majority of Pennsylvania’s counties remain under the full order until further notice.

These changes have had major impacts on local businesses and organizations, but there are ways for the community to step up and help. We have compiled a list of various local organizations who could use your support, now more than ever.

Please note that many of them may be operating in new and unique ways, such as by appointment or curbside only. Contact each organization or visit their website or social media pages for updates.

Our area’s food banks are witnessing an increase in demand as many Pennsylvanians have become unemployed since the beginning of the pandemic. Here are a few local food banks to consider donating either food or money to:

Saucon Source recently helped raise funds for the two Lower Saucon Township food banks listed above with a t-shirt sale. Residents who have food to donate should also mark their calendars for Saturday, May 30, when a drive-up food bank dropoff event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Christ Lutheran Church, 69 Main St., Hellertown. Items the food bank is especially in need of include rice, mac and cheese, and dry cereal, but all nonperishable food donations are appreciated.

Local homeless shelters have continued to accept the homeless into their programs, and are also continuing to provide their food pantry services to underprivileged local residents. Here are a few local shelters which are in continued need of food, disinfectant supplies and monetary donations.

In a news release Friday, the Allentown Rescue Mission shared information about an effort to help all nonprofit organizations May 5: Giving Tuesday Now. The day is based on Giving Tuesday, which is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year and began as way to encourage people to support nonprofits during the holiday season.

“We are celebrating Giving Tuesday Now as a way to drive generosity, citizen engagement and support for communities and nonprofits,” the news release noted.

If you have a soft spot for critters, there are plenty of animals that are in need of care, adoption and foster care at this time. Donations of pet supplies, money or even lunch for staff members are welcome at the following local animal shelters:

Another way you can help is by giving of yourself–literally.

More than 200 local blood drives have been canceled due to the spread of COVID-19, greatly threatening the local blood supply. The Miller-Keystone Blood Center has been taking the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of its staff as well as its donors, so consider scheduling an appointment and safely donating blood at this time.

The fifteenth season of the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market is set to begin Sunday, May 3. The market will undergo changes to accommodate to social distancing, such as spacing booths six feet apart, and requiring all patrons and workers to wear masks. Visitors to the market can support the more than 20 vendors who provide local food and goods. Click here to view a list of this year’s vendor starting lineup as well as preorder opportunities available from some of the participating vendors.

The Affiliated Chambers of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce have planned a Gift Card Grab Week to help support local businesses. The event will run from May 3 through May 9, and will feature gift card deals from a variety of local businesses. Gift card and take out sales remain a great way for the community to support local businesses and restaurants at this time. Click here to view a list of all the deals.

Speaking of takeout, the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association has developed a website called CarryOutPA.com to make it easier to find local restaurants providing takeout, curbside, and delivery services. Visit the site to find a local favorite restaurant to support.

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