By: Carolyn Peplow, Executive Director of Lehigh Community Services
As 2019 is now in full swing, Lehigh Community Services is using all our resources and help from other community partners assisting the community. The food pantry is very busy and we are always looking for donations; canned food items such as vegetables, meat, pasta and beans along with other non-perishable foods and hygiene products are very welcome.
The food pantry is open 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 am to 10:45 am; first time visitors are asked to bring their photo identification and proof of Lehigh Acres address.
Free tax preparation is available at Lehigh Community Services, 201 Plaza Dr. Suite #3 with the VITA program (voluntary income tax assistance). Volunteer preparers are certified by the IRS and you can have your taxes prepared FREE if your household income was $66,000 or less in 2018. Appointments are evenings and Saturdays. To schedule please call Lehigh Community Services at (239) 369-5818.
New this year is VITA Valet. Drop off your income tax items between 9 am and 4 pm on Tuesdays each week, have them scanned to a secure site and pick up the completed taxes at a later date, call for details; this new program is designed for those who would like to save a little time by skipping an appointment.
VITA also has the capabilities to file prior year taxes, call for details and appointments. VITA appointments will be available throughout the filing season including April 15, 2019.
VITA processed 849 returns in the Lehigh Acres location last year and had over One Million Dollars returned to our community for the fifth year in a row.
Mark your calendars for the annual post office food drive, Saturday, May 11. Join thousands in our community by donating non-perishable food items. Your letter carrier will pick up the bag of food from your mail box. Each year this results in great amount of food coming into the Lehigh Community Services food pantry to help our friends and neighbors, our goal in 2019 is 40,000lbs. This is also a great volunteer opportunity for individuals and families to help process, pack and store the food throughout the day. We could not do what we do successfully without your donations.
This year we are working with Ryland Ciaccio, a Life Scout, working on his “Eagle Project” He has a goal to raise $20,000 to supply 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies that will be used within the Lehigh Acres elementary schools. If you run into Ryland or receive a letter from him we would appreciate you supporting his project, donations made to Lehigh Acres Backpack Giveaway 2019 can be sent to Lehigh Community Services, 201 Plaza Dr., Suite 3, Lehigh Acres 33936.
LCS is a 501c3 organization, operating in our 42nd year. We proudly serve as the United Way House for Lehigh Acres and strive to be the best we can be by honoring our mission: Provide emergency services to residents of the community while promoting self-sufficiency.
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