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Author Archives: Dish Works

Hunters: Share the Harvest with Your Food Bank

Did you know there’s a program that helps make sure interested hunters may share their bounty with those less fortunate? The Chester County Food Bank was grateful to receive 5,150 pounds of venison in 2015, thanks to Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) and generous local hunters.

HSH is a charitable program that connects hunters with butchers across Pennsylvania who are dedicated to getting venison, a healthful lean protein, to local food banks. This initiative, combined with local hunters’ fundraising and advocacy efforts, puts food on the tables of Pennsylvania’s less fortunate.

Art Lyle of Backyard Bucks has been a longtime supporter of the effort and our Food Bank. He says the group’s members are delighted they can help by simply doing something they love: hunting. For him, however, it goes deeper.

Piece of frozen meat onions and garlic. A table from old boards rural style

“The main reason I got involved was that I grew up in a family of six, and we didn’t always have food—or not much of it,” Art explained. “There were some times we would eat bread or rice, and other times we went to food banks. I always said if I could ever find a way to give back, I would. That extends to Backyard Bucks: We just believe it’s the right thing.”

Art offered these tips for other hunters’ groups that might be interested in helping the Chester County Food Bank:

  • Ask all attending your fundraising event to bring three nonperishable food items. Those who do can get raffle tickets for a chance to win a crossbow, muzzleloader or other prize. This is a great way to collect a lot of nonperishables for the food bank.
  • Encourage each hunter to make a difference by harvesting at least one extra deer and donating it.
  • Help identify property owners willing to open their land to hunters. In particular, properties where nonprofits like Backyard Bucks can hunt free of charge are greatly needed.

Hunters and hunters’ clubs looking to get involved may reach out to the following HSH participating butchers:

  • Countryside Butchering, 269 Long Ln., Honey Brook, PA 19344; 610-273-2629
  • Fisher’s Butcher Shop, 48 Furnace Rd., Quarryville, PA 17566; 717-786-7398
  • Foresta’s Market, 1098 W. Bridge St., Phoenixville, PA 19460; 610-935-1777
  • Noble Road Butcher Shop, 1553 Noble Rd., Kirkwood, PA 17536; 717-529-9031
  • Smokers Custom Butchering, 12 Old Leacock Rd., Ronks, PA 17572; 717-768-7046

Of course, the Chester County Food Bank is also grateful for gifts of nonperishables, grocery store gift cards and financial donations, too. We greatly appreciate our hunter friends who embrace the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program—as do our food cupboards and their clients.

Volunteers Collecting Food Donations In Warehouse

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 collects, stores and distributes food to over 120 food cupboards, meal sites and social service organizations. Since our beginning in 2009, we have increased distribution over 119% by distributing 2.5 million pounds of food. The Food Bank partners with donors, volunteers, farmers, schools and businesses to address hunger and food insecurity with compassion and creativity.

Nina Malone

Photos: BigStock

Our Challenge: How You Can Become a Holiday Hero

The holiday season seems to be thrust upon us more quickly every year. The hustle and bustle harbor the anticipation of family, friends and delicious holiday feasts with toasts of good cheer, warm laughter and cherished memories.

The challenge.

It’s difficult for us to imagine what it feels like to not be able to have these amazing banquets, to not be able to provide the resources or the money to plan a basic nourishing holiday meal for our family—meals that we many times take for granted.

Our challenge for you is this: Don’t eat anything for eight hours. No protein bars. Skip the fruit and nuts. Omit that nutritious shake. Go ahead and try it. Observe how empty your stomach feels, how light your head seems and how difficult it is to maintain even a bit of focus toward the end of the day.

For many of our own Chester County neighbors—multiply those eight hours into days, weeks or perhaps months.

Think of it this way. Eight hours is also the average amount of time required to take part in creating a successful food drive with the Chester County Food Bank. It may not sound like a huge investment from you, but the positive impact is exponential for us—and for our communities. We need you to be our hero.

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Get involved. It’s easy.

You want to be involved but where do you begin? How do you plan a food drive during the busy holiday season? What resources do you need?

Whether you wish to conduct a smaller solo effort or to coordinate a more massive drive to include friends, family and coworkers, we have it all spelled out simply on our easy-to-navigate website. Take a look at our online tool kit that includes the information you’ll need.

To make the process go even more smoothly—simply register your food drive with us via our convenient email.

Specific holiday items are always beneficial this time of year and include frozen turkeys, canned vegetables, fruit, cranberry sauce and gravies, as well as packaged instant potatoes and boxed stuffing. Focus on collecting one item by itself if it makes it easier. We’ll accept it all. In fact, we will also accept the receipts for free turkeys that some neighborhood grocery stores provide to frequent shoppers in addition to actual frozen turkeys.  We’ve even added Saturday drop off hours – we will be open Saturdays in November (9a-noon) leading up to Thanksgiving accepting food donations.

Still not sure what additional things to collect? Check out our year-round food and breakfast needed items. We encourage you to participate in this year’s Chester County Housing & Food for All 365 National Hunger Homelessness Awareness Week events (November 12-19).

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Be a hero. Donate.

We certainly realize how valuable your personal time is and we do understand if you cannot commit to organizing a food drive at this time, but we continue to need your involvement. You still have the opportunity to be a community hero by simply donating.

Our dedicated team of staff members and volunteers is willing to assist you to become a true holiday hero for our own neighbors. Call us at (610) 873-6000 with any questions you may have and thank you for your sincere support.

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  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

Make a (Bigger!) Difference in October: WSFS Will Match All Donations Up to $5,000

We value all our partners, but this month we’re particularly grateful for WSFS Bank. The community-minded financial institution is celebrating our community-friendly website by matching all donations made in October 2016.

It’s simple: WSFS will match donations up to $5,000. That means it’s never been a better time to give. As we head into colder weather and the holiday season, Chester County’s less fortunate folks need even more help from the Chester County Food Bank.

“The members of the WSFS Bank Pennsylvania Advisory Board are happy to provide their annual donation for this matching challenge grant to the Chester County Food Bank,” said Vernita Dorsey, WSFS senior vice president and director of community strategy. “The opportunity to maximize the impact of our $5000 gift is one that we simply could not pass up. We believe our caring community partners will embrace the challenge and double this gift.”

The Chester County Food Bank runs on contributions, and we’re proud to say 89 percent of all donations go directly to costs that provide access to healthy food for those struggling with food insecurity.

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We rely on generosity from individuals, organizations and corporations so we can continue to:

  • Offer our innovative programs
  • Address the root causes of hunger
  • Provide advocacy and education
  • Maintain equipment and trucks
  • Purchase food in bulk
  • And so much more!

“This new partnership between WSFS and the Food Bank strengthens our community and furthers the awareness of hunger and food insecurity in Chester County. The match that WSFS is offering is a ‘carrot’ to the community inviting them to donate dollars to make an even bigger impact to fight hunger,” said Larry Welsch, executive director.

We can’t say it enough: We’re grateful to WSFS for standing with us to fight hunger in Chester County! Join in with a donationAny amount makes a difference.

Want to be in the know about what we’re doing in your community? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. Thanks to you, we’re growing a healthier community.

The Chester County Food Bank collects, stores and distributes food to over 120 food cupboards, meal sites and social service organizations. Since our beginning in 2009, we have increased distribution over 119% by distributing 2.5 million pounds of food. The Food Bank partners with donors, volunteers, farmers, schools and businesses to address hunger and food insecurity with compassion and creativity.

Nina Malone

Take a Tour Through Our New Website

We’re busting-at-the-seams proud of our new website and its simple (but fun!) layout. Our goal was to make the site easy to navigate so our community can more easily engage with the Chester County Food Bank.

Take a stroll through the site and learn about us, our food sourcesprograms and education and community partners. You’ll find the latest on our Fresh2You Mobile Market and how to host a food drive (check out our new food drive toolkit!). But most importantly, you can quickly access how to find foodget involved and donate:

Click on Need Food? to find a local food provider or hot meal site.

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Click on Get Involved to learn about how you can make a difference right in your own backyard.

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Click on Donate to provide much needed funds to keep our programs strong and to serve those in need.

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More exciting news—our friends at WSFS bank are matching donations during the month of October! It’s their way of celebrating our new web presence.

Want to be in the know about what we’re doing in your community? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. Thanks to you, we’re growing a healthier community.

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The Chester County Food Bank collects, stores and distributes food to over 120 food cupboards, meal sites and social service organizations. Since our beginning in 2009, we have increased distribution over 119% by distributing 2.5 million pounds of food. The Food Bank partners with donors, volunteers, farmers, schools and businesses to address hunger and food insecurity with compassion and creativity.

Nina Malone