Monthly Archives: December 2016

A New Day Dawns: Helping Victims Become Survivors of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is defined as a form of modern slavery (labor and/or sexual) that occurs in every state, including Pennsylvania.

Emma (not her real name; details changed for anonymity) continued walking toward town in a chilly, windswept rain. At 14 years old, she can’t drive yet and she was saving what little cash she had to take a bus into the city. Her backpack felt too light as she dodged sheepishly into a coffee shop to dry off and get warm among unfamiliar faces before continuing to the bus stop.

The older gentleman wearing a thick turtleneck sweater and designer glasses nodded and smiled kindly as Emma sat next to him. He reminded her of a teacher she had in school. She shivered as she remembered her mother’s new boyfriend leering at her and being inappropriate. “Can I buy you a cup of hot chocolate?” the kind stranger asked and broke through her dark memory. 

Unfortunately, Emma is on her way to become the latest in a growing number of human trafficking statistics in Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Chester County.

“Most people tend to think that human trafficking is a problem in faraway lands, with violent kidnappings in developing-world environments,” explains Carol Metzker, consultant for the Salvation Army’s New Day to Stop Trafficking Program. “They don’t realize that the problem exists right in our own backyard.”

Victims quickly lose dignity and become emotionally and many times physically dependent upon their traffickers. They lose the basic right of choice and eventually find themselves in a seemingly unending cycle of violence and desperation.


But there is help for these victims to recover and meld back into society while becoming empowered as survivors. It takes a village, and with the supportive partnership with the Chester County Food Bank, the Salvation Army’s New Day to Stop Trafficking victim services is a first stop in the battery of programs ready to take on this painful challenge.

Case Management services include working with the victim to be located a safe, undisclosed place—where he or she can receive clothing and services, and stay out of the grasp of traffickers. If the victim has children, they, too, can be provided for at this point.

The Food Bank helps by providing “grab-and-go bags” for the victims and their families. These reusable bags provide nonperishables like peanut butter, crackers, microwavable items and more to sustain the victim as the search for a job or housing can begin.

The Salvation Army’s New Day Women’s Drop In Center is a “drop-in” facility in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood that assists street walk-ins, including women from Chester County, by providing a temporary location for safe rest, a shower and basic necessities. Open during the day and some evenings, it provides a way for women to get in contact with social workers and various safety nets that will hopefully help direct them to further steps in becoming a survivor.

The Food Bank provides portable “street-smart” waterproof reusable food bags with basics such as water, granola bars and crackers for sustenance.

The Salvation Army’s New Day New Home will be opening this month at an undisclosed location and will be an operating residence for women from 18 to 24 years of age who were trafficked as minors and are “aging out” of child protective services.

The Chester County Food Bank is again instrumental in coordinating the leaders of a local Girl Scout group out of Coatesville to run a drive to gather food to stock the cabinets and pantry for New Day New Home. Basic living items like flour, salt, sugar, coffee, tea and canned and packaged goods will be in place before eight women take residence. Many of the food items requested are fair trade when possible.


“We are so grateful for our partnership with the Chester County Food Bank for the past three years,” notes Metzker, “and look forward to a continued satisfying relationship.”

If you’d like to help or get additional details and information, visit the following links:

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The Chester County Food Bank is nonprofit and the central hunger relief organization serving more than 120 partner agencies in Chester County, Pa. Through our network of food cupboardshot meal sites, shelters and other social service organizations, we distribute over 2.5 million pounds to our neighbors with limited or uncertain access to adequate food. We also take a steadfast approach to provide food and build support in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among our community. Visit our Nutrition Education page to learn about how our programs are making inroads in the fight against hunger. We are located at 650 Pennsylvania Dr., Exton, Pa. 19341.

Ed Williams

Photos: Carol Metzker

Meals on Wheels + CCFB = Serving Our Neighbors

One of our most rewarding programs is with our friends at Meals on Wheels of Chester County. Through this partnership, we make sure 2,000 meals move through Meals on Wheels each month.

“We enjoy being able to do this, and especially hearing the stories that come back from volunteers,” said Chester County Food Bank‘s Food Drive & Procurement Coordinator Claudia Rose-Muir. “It’s heartwarming to hear compliments like, ‘That pot roast reminds me of my mom’s. I even attended one woman’s 100th birthday party.  It’s so rewarding to see the difference we make.”

The Chester County Food Bank prepares hot meals for three Meals on Wheels of Chester County chapters. That food is delivered to county residents by volunteers Monday through Friday, predominantly seniors. The drop-off also helps to combat loneliness and isolation with a friendly visit and a safety check. Anyone, regardless of age or economic status, who is homebound, handicapped, or convalescing from an illness or operation and is unable to prepare a nutritious meal, is eligible to receive Meals on Wheels.


We also provide Meals on Wheels of Chester County frozen meals with accompaniments: juice, bread and butter, and a snack. This is separate from the Monday through Friday volunteer deliveries; these boxes include five meals and sides that we deliver to Meals on Wheels of Chester County for distribution as needed.

“This program is a small revenue stream for the Chester County Food Bank,” Claudia added. “We are always in need of donations of food, money and time to keep our programs running and to serve our Chester County neighbors.”

Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. Need Meals on Wheels of Chester County’s services, or know someone who could use a hand? Call (610) 873-6000.

Thanks to you, we’re growing a healthier community.

The Chester County Food Bank is the central hunger relief organization serving more than 120 food cupboards, meal sites and social service organizations throughout Chester County. We take a steadfast approach to provide food and build support in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among our community. 

Nina Malone

Brandywine Valley Water Garden Tour Donates $17,000 to Food Bank

Now in its 13th year, the Brandywine Valley Water Garden tour is the premier tour of its kind in Chester County featuring over 35 water features and gardens throughout the county. Since 2010, at the suggestion of Senator Dinniman, the Tour has benefited the Chester County Food Bank and has contributed over $97,000.

The two day, self-guided tour held in July offers an opportunity to visit the homes of local residents and neighbors who have created beautiful waterscapes in their backyards with the help of Turpin Landscaping, a family-owned business headquartered in Coatesville.

“The Water Garden Tour is a creative method of giving back to our community, said Jason Turpin, CEO of Turpin Landscaping. We feel good knowing that our donation is going to the Chester County Food Bank, which is an incredible organization that uses the funds to help Chester County residents struggling to put food on the table.”

“The Water Garden Tour and Turpin Landscaping were one of the first contributors to the Food Bank when we started in November 2009,” said Larry Welsch, Executive Director of the Chester County Food Bank. “From the team at Turpin, to the Tour committee members to all of the garden hosts, this event is truly a community coming together to help those struggling with food insecurity in Chester County. We are so very grateful and honored to be the beneficiary.”

Water Garden Tour Committee Members and Turpin Landscaping family presented this years $17,000 donation to the Food Bank at a celebratory dinner held in November at Wyebrook Farm. For more information about the Water Garden Tour and 2017 tour dates, visit www.brandywinepondtour.com.

Since its inception in 2009, the Food Bank takes a steadfast approach to provide food and build support in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among our community. Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. 

Photo credit: Rich Coster