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Author Archives: Dish Works

The Inspirational Legacy of Our Friend, Elmer Duckinfield

The sun seems a bit less bright today at the Chester County Food Bank as we mourn the passing of one of our early and distinguished pioneers. Elmer Duckinfield lost his brave and quiet battle with cancer on May 6, 2017, surrounded by his beloved family. Our hearts are broken; however, our spirits remain touched (and, dare we say, our lives changed) by a man who was the definition of compassion, enthusiasm and humility with his warm smile, soft-spoken voice and contagious way of inspiring us to become better citizens.

Twenty years ago, Elmer envisioned a need to “glean” local farms of excess produce while it was still on the vine or on the ground, and then to distribute fresh food to those in the local communities who needed it most. He selflessly compiled lists of available volunteers in the area and coordinated volunteer drives to take advantage of gathering the produce surplus. It was no surprise to find Elmer in the fields packing and loading up the goods until nightfall. We shared Elmer’s story of inspiration earlier this year and believe that you, too, will find it hard not to be touched by his love of giving back.

Phoebe Kitson-Davis, director of agency and community partnerships for the Food Bank, conveys, “Elmer held the title of ‘gleaning manager’ (a volunteer position) when he began the gleaning efforts in the county in conjunction with then-Commissioner (now state Senator) Andy Dinniman. This is a tremendous loss for all of us, but Elmer would want us to carry on—to continue to help those in need and work together to make Chester County a great place to live for everyone. He truly believed no one should ever go hungry. We vow to carry on his legacy.”

As part of a loving tribute to Elmer, why not join us with a donation in his honor to the Chester County Food Bank? Let his influential spirit and charitable philosophy live on and continue to make our community a better place. We collectively thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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 mobilize our community to ensure access to real, healthy food. 

Ed Williams

Photos: Ed Williams

Meet Our Community Partner: Great Valley Food Cupboard

At the Chester County Food Bank, we’re proud to partner with a number of like-minded organizations around our region, whose missions align with ours.

One such partner is the Great Valley Food Cupboard (GVFC), in Devon. Since 2012, this community-oriented food pantry has made it its mission to help families fill their refrigerators and kitchen shelves with extra food each month. Its tagline is “Compassion in Action,” which is visible each week as it opens its doors to neighbors from surrounding communities. All those who visit the Great Valley Food Cupboard are treated with dignity and respect, and their needs are met with care that’s free of judgment.

Run by a volunteer staff, the GVFC is open each Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the second Wednesday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. During these hours, residents from the Tredyffrin Easttown School District and Great Valley School District are welcome to come to the cupboard, located in the Education Building of The Baptist Church in the Great Valley at 945 N. Valley Forge Rd. in Devon. GVFC serves more than 250 individuals every month.

Many food cupboards can only offer canned, dried and other nonperishable goods to their guests, but thanks to the partnership with Chester County Food Bank, the Great Valley Food Cupboard is also able to offer fresh fruit and vegetables. According to Carol Claypoole, a church volunteer who runs the food cupboard, clients really appreciate the variety and quality of the food they receive.

“It’s rewarding to see the relief on people’s faces when they receive their groceries,” she said. “Hearing, ‘You made this so easy!’ is always such a great feeling.”

This spring and summer, the staff at the Great Valley Food Cupboard is looking forward to providing produce to clients from the gardens at the church. It is one of the sites for the Chester County Food Bank’s Raised Bed Garden Program, and the food grown on-site adds a seasonal bounty to the offerings. Carol says, “The raised bed gardens are such a win-win experience for everyone … the folks who grow the gardens are proud to help and the folks that receive the food are so grateful.”

Any families who live in the Great Valley area who are in need of support and would like details on signing up for the Great Valley Food Cupboard should call the church’s office at 610-688-5445. The same number should be used for anyone interested in volunteering, as well.

Want to learn more about the Chester County Food Bank? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. You can also donate food, funds and time to help us achieve our mission. Call 610-873-6000 to speak to someone about getting involved or requesting a tour. 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 mobilize the community to ensure access to real, healthy food.

Emily Kovach

Coatesville Food Summit: Community Cohesiveness Curtails Local Food Insecurities

American inventor Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Ford’s words were put to the test as the Chester County Food Bank hosted its third annual Coatesville Food Summit, held at the Chester County Public Safety Training Campus.

According to sobering statistics provided by the city, the current population of Coatesville living in poverty is 35.3%. Of those, 8.3% are senior citizens over age 65. Out of 6,311 students within the Coatesville Area School District, over 50% are eligible to take advantage of free or reduced lunch programs. That’s close to 5,000 residents who are in need of food cupboards and agencies in the Coatesville area alone. In 2015, the Chester County Food Bank took the initiative to create a task force to address the critical issues surrounding the city’s food insecurities and ways to streamline food distribution.

The objective of the Food Summit is to assemble the city’s agencies and organizations who serve meals, distribute food, host nutrition education programs or grow food for the Coatesville community to discuss and determine solutions for improving food insecurity logistics, in addition to getting to know the faces behind the resources.

“Having participated in the Coatesville Food Summit since its inception, I find it to be a valuable resource for my organization in helping us to meet the complex needs of our clients,” noted Kathryn Spurlock, director of the Coatesville Center for Community Health. “I have met other food providers and learned to appreciate their strengths, as well as understand the challenges they face in supplying food to their constituents. Learning more about the Food Bank, as well as its operations and services available, has also enabled me to work more closely with them to provide greater access to food and education to the clients of our Center.”

Explaining further how the Summit specifically helps her organization, Kathryn continued, “Providing food resources has added value to the holistic approach we take at our Center in providing care and support for many aspects of personal and family life. Helping our clients to improve their health and nutrition improves their ability to cope with the personal challenges they are facing. Through the Coatesville Food Summit, we have improved our ability to approach providing food and resources as a community, and not just as one organization. This has helped us to have a greater understanding of the overall needs of Coatesville, and work to establish a more seamless approach to food delivery with less duplication. As a result, a more effective and efficient system helps Coatesville to thrive as a community.”  

Phoebe Kitson-Davis, Director of Agency and Community Partnerships for the Chester County Food Bank, explained how the Summit has evolved. “The first year, our goal was to get everyone in a room together to meet one another, to garner support with local politicians and services and make valuable connections while promoting constructive dialogue. Our second year concentrated more on bringing the partners together, operating hours of the organizations, educating each other on how we all serve the community while determining where specific gaps or overlaps in food distribution take place.”

The agenda of this year’s well-attended Summit consisted of an introduction of participants; specific programs, capabilities and goals of the Food Bank; discussions of an in-depth food assessment study being conducted by Drexel University and West Chester University regarding food insecurity from 2015–2016 in the Coatesville area, summer student feeding programs with the Coatesville Area School District and decisions regarding a single stream holiday food distribution.

As a result, the Food Bank will be forming a community-based committee that will assist with a food box distribution event on Saturday, November 18. “It will be a first for Coatesville to have one Thanksgiving distribution. We plan on modeling our distribution plan on the existing efficiently run by the Coatesville Youth Initiatives backpack program,” said Phoebe. “Invaluable community volunteers and business sponsorships are crucial, and a centrally located site is needed to make this a success for everyone. I anticipate close to 1,000 Thanksgiving food boxes to be allocated via our network of partners. That’s close to one-third of the total handled for the entire holiday season by the Food Bank.”  

This year, the roundtable of enthusiastic participants included Pastor Frank Fullwood, Jubilee Evangelistic Ministries; Sondra Young, Ash Park Terrace; Pastor Dave Harmer, Kingsway Church; Brother Dave,Tabernacle Baptist; Gloria Hicklen, Coatesville Co-Op and Kathryn Spurlock, Coatesville Center for Community Health.   

The team of dedicated organizations and personnel who made the summit happen include host site Chester County Emergency ServicesCoatesville Center for Community HealthCitadel Credit UnionSenator Andrew Dinniman and, of course, host Chester County Food Bank.

Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. You can also donate foodfunds and time to help us achieve our mission. Call (610) 873-6000 to speak to someone about getting involved or request a tour. 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 mobilize our community to ensure access to real, healthy food.

Ed Williams

Photos: Ed Williams

Elmer Duckinfield: A Volunteer Ahead of His Time

“I grew up in the city. I couldn’t grow a tomato if I tried,” laughs Elmer Duckinfield, when asked what inspired him to become Chester County’s first official farm gleaning volunteer back in 1996. Elmer’s humility, dedication and quick humor become evident as we explored the origin of one of our most successful campaigns to get fresh produce into the hands of those experiencing food insecurity in our area.

Though Elmer, an octogenarian, has considered himself officially retired from the volunteer circuit for the past four years, back in 1996 an idea was brewing and Elmer was quick to embrace it and become a welcome fixture in our community.

In the 90’s, food cupboards were lightly scattered within some of the larger towns of the county, but most of the hard work involved in food donations was done by church volunteer groups, scout food drives and the annual holiday collection.

At the time, Andrew Dinniman, a county commissioner and now a state senator, saw a need to do more. He knew exactly whom he could request to get the job done. “Who says no to Andy?” says Elmer, who had recently retired from Burroughs Corp. when he was tapped to lead the new effort.

Elmer and Senator Dinniman have known each other for many years. Elmer continues, “He has a way of supporting people, and putting a level of confidence in you that makes you want to succeed. We believed that if we approached some of our county’s local farmers, we could find a way to gather the excess large volume crop yield that sometimes went uncollected. Produce like potatoes, peppers, onions and corn were prime targets.”

Thus, the Chester County “gleaning program” idea was born and eventually blossomed into one of the largest fresh produce generators for the county. Today, we see the Food Bank distributing about 200,000 pounds annually to community partners who in turn reach over 40,000 men, women and children in Chester County.

Pete’s Produce in Westtown was one of the first farms that Elmer “staffed” with volunteers. Owner Pete Flynn agreed to set aside several acres for the Gleaning Program that still exists today. “I remember quite a few times leaving the farm at the end of the day and Elmer would still be in the fields with stacks of produce to deliver to the Food Bank,” says Pete. “Even if he was a few volunteers short, he worked hard to get the job done and never once complained.”

Soliciting volunteers was something that Elmer had little experience with early on. He worked with the Grove Methodist Church initially to come up with lists of names. “There were no computers or cell phones back then. I did everything with pen, paper and my ear to the phone,” says Elmer. “I had to make schedules and have people ready to go when the crops were ready. There was no time to wait. I was so very fortunate with the many volunteers that have helped with gleaning over the years. They are the ones that make it all possible and worthwhile.”

Longtime volunteers Ed and Mary Fitzpatrick say, “We originally volunteered to assist Elmer with bread and pastries donations from Entenmann’s Bakery, which we boxed and loaded into cars or vans from the various agencies. One day, we discovered that Elmer was heading out to one of the produce farms in the area for some ‘real work’ and we were hooked. It was not unusual to arrive at the site to find he had already started the more difficult tasks himself. When he recruited us to come out at a certain hour, we knew to arrive much earlier because he would have started alone.”

Today, the Chester County Food Bank still requires volunteers to work alongside their staff farmers, Bill Shick and Edil Cunampio. Lots of people, like you, who only need devote a few hours or more to making a difference whether it’s planting or harvesting from one of our now many partnered farms or working in our Eagleview location in the kitchen. As our honorary volunteer chairperson Elmer so simply and wholeheartedly illustrates, thinking outside of ourselves creates an opportunity to improve the quality of lives for others. Elmer and his diverse team are also proof that volunteers of all ages and interests are needed and welcomed. Love to garden? Great! Prefer to help elsewhere along the food chain? That works, too.

Those who speak of Elmer refer to his humility. Never one to take credit for being the first to arrive in the field or the last to leave, Elmer also trained all the volunteers and helped deliver fresh produce from the back of a station wagon.

Elmer has bounced back from hip, cataract and heart surgery. His story continues to serve as a reminder to all of us of how dedication, creativity and hard work generate positive results for our community. Thank you, Elmer. We appreciate you.

Editor’s Note: Elmer lost his brave and quiet battle with cancer on May 6, 2017, surrounded by his beloved family. We vow to carry on his legacy.

Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. You can also donate foodfunds and time to help us achieve our mission. Call (610) 873-6000 to speak to someone about getting involved or request a tour. 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, schools and social service organizations throughout Chester County. We mobilize our communityto ensure access to real, healthy food.

Ed Williams

Top photo by Ed Williams

Meet the Team: Nick Popov, Director of Warehouse and Logistics

As part of our reach into Chester County’s communities, we proudly present the first in a series of monthly stories highlighting one part of the Food Bank that works cohesively to feed, educate and introduce our programs into local residences, schools and businesses. We aim to give you valuable insight into what we do by sharing information about an individual who represents a specific department or partnership with our organization.

We’ve all heard that it takes a village to raise a child, and most people know The Chester County Food Bank helps to feed those in our local “villages.” But one vital and growing part of our operation is often overlooked—our hard-working drivers who manage the complex food distribution logistics that help move over two million pounds of food annually .

Fortunately, we have Nick Popov, who will be with the Food Bank for six years this June. He began as a driver learning the procedures, the partners, the roads and highways and grew into the perfect person to manage our massive distribution of food.

Nick was recently promoted to a senior staff position and has been described by co-workers and volunteers as hardworking, dedicated and humble. He now manages our team of drivers in addition to several other tasks required to handle the volume and traffic of food in and out of the Food Bank and on the roads of Chester County.

We asked Nick a few questions on what he does that makes his job so crucial to the team here at the Chester County Food Bank.

Briefly explain what your responsibilities are for CCFB.

My department handles many different tasks to get food from the Food Bank to our partner agencies. That includes:

  • Planning routes and deliveries
  • Coordinating with agencies to determine wants and needs
  • Overseeing the acceptance of food deliveries into our warehouse as well as the input into our inventory system
  • Mapping and efficiently plotting the warehouse
  • Maintaining our fleet

How many are in your staff and what are their responsibilities?

I work with four great employees:

  • Josh Fisher—Warehouse Receiving Coordinator
  • Bud Hannah—Driver/ Warehouse Associate
  • Philip Biaesch—Driver/ Warehouse Associate
  • Nathan Sletvold—Warehouse Associate

How many trucks are you responsible for and how much food can they hold?

We have 3 trucks and a van:

  • Truck one has six pallet spots capable of hauling 9,000 pounds.
  • Truck two has eight pallet spots capable of hauling 7,500 pounds.
  • Truck three has 12 pallet spots capable of legally hauling 10,000 pounds.

How many pounds of food would you estimate come through the CCFB channel of distribution (incoming and outgoing)?

In calendar year 2016, we processed:

  • Incoming food totaling 2,317,103 pounds.
  • Outgoing food totaling 2,580,226 pounds.

What would you consider your biggest challenges with distribution?

My team works hard to make sure we’re:

  • Meeting the needs of such a large and diverse county.
  • Getting people exactly what they want and when they want it (due to size of vehicles and availability of products).
  • Working my drivers’ schedules to match those of the volunteers at the agencies.

So if you see one of our brightly colored trucks or van out and about, give a friendly wave to our hardworking drivers—we certainly appreciate them!

Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. You can also donate foodfunds and time to help us achieve our mission. Call 610-873-6000 to speak to someone about getting involved or request a tour. 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.

Ed Williams

We’re Always Prepared for Emergency Response

It always pays to be prepared for emergencies—a first-aid kit in a backpack, a spare tire in the trunk of your car and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen are simple, everyday examples of how we can keep ahead of troubling situations that can crop up unexpectedly.

While the Chester County Food Bank is known for continuously striving to bring food insecurity for our communities to a minimum, we are also instrumental in maintaining a state of preparedness for catastrophic events within our county in collaboration with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Blizzards, ice storms, severe thunderstorms, flooding and other emergencies where power may be lost for any length of time require the Food Bank to ramp up within six hours of being notified.

Our Emergency Response Program is committed to providing 1,000 neighbors with hot meals, snacks and water as well as items typically needed during an emergency, such as batteries, extension cords, paper products, detergents, electrical tape, Sterno burners and gloves, which are picked up by the American Red Cross as needed. The emergency meals are prepared in advance by our staff and volunteers and kept frozen at our facility. We have been fortunate to partner with the Wegmans Culinary Team for meal production. It’s also worth noting: Per industry common practice, we have a quarterly rotation schedule for the meals so if they are not needed, then they are distributed to one of our partner meal sites.

We want to make sure that all the bases are covered regarding the well-being of our communities and emergency response—it’s a priority that just makes sense to us.

 

 

Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. You can also donate foodfunds and time to help us achieve our mission. Call (610) 873-6000 to speak to someone about getting involved. 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.

Ed Williams

Your Year-End Deductions Can Make a Difference in Chester County

Looking to squeeze in another tax deduction before 2016 is but a memory? We’ll take it! Your year-end donation makes a world of difference for those served by the Chester County Food Bank.

Your gift of any size helps us provide nutritious, healthy food to our hungry neighbors. This year, our generous donors enabled us to distribute 2.3 million pounds of food and feed more than 50,000 people in Chester County. Learn more about the many ways we support our community!

We can’t emphasize it enough: every gift of every size helps. We’re inspired by individual donors like 9-year-old Nate Hyson, who raises funds to feed babies; thankful for business partners like Wegmans and its Check Out for Hunger campaign; and honored to have community partners like the Brandywine Valley Water Garden Tour, which raises funds on our behalf.

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Won’t you join other donors and help us continue to serve in 2017? The holidays shine a light on our neighbors in need, but the cold reality is that they can use a helping hand all year long. You can donate by year’s end in a number of ways:

Thank you for considering the Chester County Food Bank when making a last-minute, tax-deductible donation. Here’s to a safe and healthy 2017!

Nina Malone

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.

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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.

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“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:

Sign up for our in-depth newsletter and be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for up-to-the-minute information.

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.

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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

#GivingTuesday Is November 29—Join Us!

There’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but did you know about #GivingTuesday? This global awareness day kicks off the giving season and reminds us there are hungry Chester County residents to serve throughout the holidays and into the new year.

The Chester County Food Bank (CCFB) is grateful for the outpouring of support surrounding Thanksgiving that enables us to feed so many of our neighbors. We invite you to keep the momentum going and join us on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 29, by donating or volunteering.

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It’s easy to help, and every gift, of every size, matters:

  • Donate online—We use donations to purchase food in bulk, to keep our freezers running and our trucks on the road, and to continue our innovative programs that address the root causes of hunger. We direct 89 percent of all donations to programs and operating costs! You can donate now, donate monthly or make a tribute donation.
  • Donate by phone—Call us at (610) 873-6000.
  • Donate by mail—Send your check made payable to Chester County Food Bank to 650 Pennsylvania Dr., Exton, Pa 19341.
  • Other ways to give money:
    • See if your employer has a matching gift program—this doubles your generosity! Many employers also allow you to have donations automatically drawn from your paycheck.
    • Give stock, as appreciated assets donated to the CCFB offer tax advantages.
    • Choose the CCFB to receive your United Way Campaign gift.
    • Corporation? Talk to us about how your company can make an impact with sponsorships and other assistance.

The Chester County Food Bank is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, so all donations are tax-deductible.

Food donations are also needed all year long. Learn how to mount a food drive, where and when to bring food donations to our location, how we rescue food (and how you can help!) and how local hunters can share their bounty. Are you a farmer, or know them? They can get involved, too.

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Got some time to spare? We always welcome volunteers! Our dedicated helpers are an inspiring mix of individuals, groups and corporations, and we couldn’t serve as many as we do without them. A special note to those not in a position to give money or food—please consider giving your time. It matters.

Make #GivingTuesday a priority this year. The Chester County Food Bank’s beneficiaries thank you!

Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. Thanks to you we’re growing a healthier community.

The Chester County Food Bank is the central hunger relief organization whose mission is to mobilize our community to ensure access to real, healthy food.  Through our network of food cupboards, hot 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. 

Nina Malone