LVC students serve at a variety of organizations throughout Lebanon County and the surrounding area. Several of these nonprofits host weekly or monthly service opportunities. Here's a chance to learn more about The Caring Cupboard.
The Caring Cupboard
Food insecurity is a serious, yet often hidden problem across the United States. Poverty, disability, and unemployment, among many other factors, can make setting food on the table difficult. People who identify as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), or “the working poor,” must often decide between dinner and other necessities such as electricity and rent. Palmyra, located just a few minutes from LVC, is no exception to this reality. The Caring Cupboard seeks to address this basic need by providing food to individuals and families with dignity and respect. Additionally, once a month, the organization offers baby and personal care items.
Asking for help can be difficult for many people. The cultural expectation of success can hinder the Caring Cupboard’s outreach. However, since its inception in 2006, the organization has grown more than 800% in the number of families it serves. Just last year, The Caring Cupboard served more than 25,000 people. Shila Ulrich ’05, executive director, attributes this growth to an increase in community trust. Donors, volunteers, and recipients share a common dignity and respect, which means healthier outcomes for the community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also challenged the Caring Cupboard since food insecurity has increased dramatically. Typically, an average of 12 new families receives assistance from the organization each month. That number increased to 39 in March 2020 and 50 in April 2020. In addition to increasing capacity, The Caring Cupboard created a new food delivery system in collaboration with Hershey Medical Center and the WellSpan Philhaven ACT program. Despite these new challenges, Ulrich believes the organization will continue to find a way to provide food and hope to the community.
LVC students, faculty, and staff can volunteer at the Caring Cupboard on the fourth Saturday of each month.* They can also visit the organization to learn more about food insecurity and become an advocate for the cause. Finally, food drives and donations are always appreciated. The Caring Cupboard is proud to be “a piece of the fabric of a healthy community” and offer LVC students and staff opportunities to serve in their community.
*Service times may be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.