Fighting Food Insecurity
Snack Packing in Progress

Snack Pack Program

Since 2013, we have provided nutritious food over weekends for hungry students. Interact Club members in the Parkland School District and Northwestern Lehigh School District fill hundreds of snack packs monthly throughout the school year. The snacks are provided by Allentown West Rotary with some donations from Second Harvest Food Bank and Herr’s. Rotary members and friends happily volunteer to make this program a success.

Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry

Food insecurity isn’t just something that happens in third world countries. Our Rotary club partners with local food pantries to help Lehigh Valley families who are currently in need. We provide fresh produce monthly for over 150 families.

Lowhill Food Pantry

Fresh produce is provided monthly, as well as gift cards and other needs as they arise. Our members are involved in growing produce for local families, as well providing other support as needed.

Green Thumbs Garden Project

This expanding project provides fresh produce to many area pantries. Produce is grown at a local community garden. Youth and families engage in healthy gardening practices while doing good in the community. This offers many opportunities for youth leadership. See the project in-depth on Facebook.

Garden Project at Parkland Community Library
The Allentown West Rotary Green Thumbs Garden Project has a new initiative with the Parkland Community Library to develop a robust curriculum for classes to promote gardening and healthy eating. Produce grown is shared with pantries.

Meals on Wheels
America’s seniors are lonely. Families are living farther away and neighbors are more strangers than ever before. We all have the power to help change that. With the help of well-trained, caring volunteers, Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County, a nonprofit 501(c)3 agency, provides two meals each weekday to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities. This service fills short-term needs after an illness, surgery or hospital stay, and long term needs for people with chronic conditions or disabilities who want to remain independent in their own homes. The Agency also provides meals as respite care for a week or two, when a caregiver is on vacation or ill themselves.
Meals are prepared each weekday by a specialized vendor. Currently, this vendor is Meals on Wheels of Northampton County. The kitchen staff takes pride in preparing delicious and nutritious food that is visually appealing.
Our members deliver meals in teams of two, on the second and third Tuesdays of each month.
Supporting Education

Camp Neidig

Two to four students receive scholarships to Camp Neidig, a Leadership event for high school students, every June. Throughout the weekend, campers participate in a series of problem-solving stations that will both mentally and physically challenge the campers to work as a team. ​​Each activity has been designed to test and refine specific leadership skills. 

Each year, thousands of young people participate. In recent years our D7430 Camp Neidig was held mostly for High School Juniors. It began on Friday afternoon and ended the next Monday evening.
The first RYLA (RYLA is Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) was held in July 1961 in Brisbane, Australia. It became a structured RI program in 1971. Each year, over 60 percent of Rotary clubs nominate a RYLA participant or help organize a RYLA event. In our district it was championed by Joseph S. Neidig, and we honor him by using his name. In 1995, our club organized and sponsored one of the first youth leadership conferences in the district.

Post-Secondary School Scholarships

Each May, the Allentown West Rotary Club provides up to ten $1,000 Scholarships to students attending post-secondary educational institutions. Students are selected from the following schools:

  • Northwestern Lehigh School District
  • Parkland School District
  • Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • Lehigh Career and Technical Institute

Student of the Month

Outstanding students are recognized and rewarded with an Amazon gift card.

Early Education Kindergarten Book Project

Allentown West Rotary offers support for the Kindergarten students in our districts. During the screening process, youngsters are welcomed to school with their very own book about kindergarten.

STEM YEA (Youth Explorer Academy)

Allentown West Rotary Club is the supporting club of a district-wide, four-day, three-night STEM program designed in conjunction with the SETI Institute and Kutztown University. This residential experience is designed for middle school students who ordinarily would not have access to such a program due to financial or other circumstances.

STEM-based education delivers more than science and mathematical concepts. The focus of STEM curriculum on hands-on learning with real-world applications helps develop a variety of skill sets that our modern world depends upon. Twenty-first-century skills include media and technology literacy, productivity, social skills, communication, flexibility, and initiative. Other skills attained through STEM education include problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision-making, leadership, entrepreneurship, acceptance of failure, and more.

It’s an inspiring program for a crucial age group, preparing them for the STEM fields of the future.

Youth Exchange
Early in its history, Rotary International adopted a Youth Exchange Program as a way to further foster peace and international relations. Both short- and long-term programs were developed and, presently, some 9,000 students and 100 countries participate in the programs every year. Long-term exchanges last a full school year, and students attend local schools and live with two to three host families. Short-term exchanges last from several days to three months and are structured as camps, tours, or home stays that take place when school is not in session. Our club arranges for free housing through host parents, makes school arrangements with Parkland and Northwestern High Schools, and provides a $125 per month spending allowance, and also provides a counselor for each student.
Mongolia 21|21—Sponsor One Student for Each Province in Mongolia
Mongolian students and families struggle to provide the necessary funds to attend city universities. Herder families often sell sizable (if not all) of their herds to pay their children's tuition fees. Often, students will come to universities with overwhelming debt or guilt for their family’s sacrifice. As a result, students often attempt full-time or multiple part-time jobs to pay off debt or send money back to their families in the countryside for basic necessities. 

Annual costs are about $2,000 annually for the duration of a student’s program—far less than college tuition in the U.S., making this an achievable goal with outsized results for Mongolia. Learn More
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley is a non-profit organization that works to build simple, decent homes for hardworking, disadvantaged families in the Lehigh Valley. Allentown West Rotary supports this fantastic humanitarian effort. Our Past President Amir Famili has been a long-time volunteer and believer in the program which has built 133 homes in the Lehigh Valley to date. 
The Habitat Home Ownership program provides deserving families and children with a stable home and a safe neighborhood in which to grow and thrive. Studies indicate that the children of homeowners are more likely to attain higher academic achievement. They have a 25 percent higher probability of finishing high school and a 116 percent better chance of graduating from college. Additionally, children of homeowners are 59 percent more likely to become homeowners themselves.
Community and Economic Development
Bike Repair Stations
The Western Lehigh County area has many trails, roads, and parks. We already have an avid cyclist community. The community we serve has many rural areas within it. Lehigh county has a walking and cycling connectivity plan. Bike repair stations add value to existing investments in bikeways and encourage people to ride rather than drive. Having a repair station available is a boon to the health and safety of cyclists also. These stations have a cradle at the top; you can place the bike there, making it easy to closely inspect it hands-free. The Repair Station has Phillips and standard screwdrivers, tire levers, headset/pedal wrench, Torx T-25 tool, and Hex Key set. Bike repair stations also attract cyclists and serve as meeting places.

Allentown West Rotary Club secured funding via a grant from the Rotary Foundation and our club funds. In addition to the Grange Park location, another repair station has been installed at 200-3218 Levans Road, Coplay at the Ironton Rail Trail. Two simplified repair stations were also installed at Trexler Game Preserve, a local mecca for mountain biking. 
Allentown West Rotary Club Diana Dunn poses with the new bike repair station in Grange Park Lower Macungie.