Students receive meals from Allentown restaurant
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in March, it has affected many aspects of daily life for citizens across Pennsylvania, and Whitehall High School seniors were no exception. When seniors were unable to finish the school year as anticipated and were informed they would miss special events, Ed Hanna and his wife, Shahnaz, owners of Union and Finch, decided to make four Whitehall High School seniors’ days brighter.
Union and Finch is an American-style bistro located at 1528 W. Union St. in Allentown.
“We wanted to reward deserving - and, in some cases, less fortunate - students with meals, given their graduation and celebrations were turned upside down,” Ed and Shahnaz Hanna said.
The Hannas offered up to six meals for each student and his or her family, including two appetizers and entrees, such as steak.
Ed Hanna emailed Whitehall-Coplay School District Superintendent Dr. Lorie Hackett, who then connected him with Michelle Khouri, district registrar. Khouri contacted Alicia Knauff, WHS assistant principal, and the school counselors selected four deserving seniors.
“I contacted the families to let them know they were chosen and emailed them the menus. They chose their dinners and appetizers, and I emailed Ed (Hanna) with the selections,” Khouri said.
The chosen seniors were invited to pick up their dinners July 1 from Union and Finch. The Hannas said the seniors were very appreciative of the meals. Family of the Hannas, including Ed Hanna’s sister Tammy Makhoul and brother Esper Hanna, are all WHS alumni and partners in the restaurant. They hope to continue giving back to the community in the future.
In the beginning of 2020, Makhoul and her husband, George, paid off WHS seniors’ school lunch debts.
“We feel fortunate and blessed and are grateful we can give back to those that are less fortunate,” Ed Hanna said.
Union and Finch’s hours are from 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m.-7:45 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays.