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CCFB Receives $120,000 from ACME Markets Foundations

The Funds, in the form of grocery gift cards, will be distributed through CCFB’s network of partner agencies

Chester County Food Bank is the recipient of a generous donation of grocery gift cards totaling $120,000 made possible by support from ACME Markets Foundation and their Nourishing Neighbors Foundation. The grocery cards will be distributed through the Food Bank’s network of hunger-relief partners. Partners can use the cards to purchase items from ACME to stock their pantry shelves or they can choose to distribute the cards to individuals and families.

“Higher prices at the grocery store are causing more people to need the services of CCFB and our network of partners,” said Andrea Youndt, CEO of the Chester County Food Bank. “The gift cards will enable our food cupboard partners to purchase most needed items for their pantry or enable a social service partner that may only do a limited grocery box distribution to give a grocery card to a client so that they can select items of their choosing.”

The grocery gift cards are coming at a particularly good time since many of the safety net programs have ended. “Last year we received dairy, meat, and produce boxes through the USDA’s Farm to Family Covid Response, but funding was not renewed for the supplemental program this year,” said Catie Hargraves, Director of Procurement and Distribution.

“Our friends (clients), who were struggling financially before recent inflation, are having an even harder time meeting their basic needs, especially at the grocery store,” said Melissa Pacella, Director of Organization and Development at Serving, Inspiring, and Loving Others (SILO) in Oxford. “Many feel trapped, choosing between paying bills or buying groceries. These gift cards will create a huge relief for families and seniors on a fixed income.”

“The effects of the pandemic will be long-lasting,” said Dana Ward, Communications and Public Affairs Manager for ACME Markets. “Those effects intertwined with inflation have people struggling – some like never before. ACME Markets is proud to support our local food bank network and pleased to present these grocery store cards to the Chester County Food Bank.”

“ACME has been a great partner in fighting hunger across Chester County and the region,” said Youndt. “We are grateful for their continued support and for helping us to ensure access to real, healthy food.”

CCFB Receives $40,000 Donation from Customers Bank

Chester County Food Bank is pleased to announce a $40,000 donation from Customers Bank. The donation will fund nearly 30,000 meals for the food insecure that the Food Bank serves through its network of over 160 partner agencies.

In addition to rising costs, we are also seeing an increased demand for food assistance,” said Andrea Youndt, CEO of the Chester County Food Bank. We are thankful for Customers Bank’s investment in the Food Bank and our mission to ensure access to real, healthy food. This donation enables us to focus on not only the immediate food needs but also purchase foods in advance to avoid supply cost increases.”

In 2021, 50% of the 3.5 million pounds of food distributed by the Chester County Food Bank was fresh fruits and vegetables. We hope to sustain this high volume and variety of healthy food for our network of community partners that distribute to our neighbors in need.

The pandemic has exacerbated the issues of families who were already facing an uphill battle. Food insecurity has increased in our county and the ripple effects persist as inflation rises.

“Customers Bank is proud to support the communities we live in and serve,” said Miguel Alban, Senior Vice President and Director of Multicultural Banking for Customers Bank. “We have a strong belief in lifting our communities, and we are able to do that by partnering with important organizations like the Chester County Food Bank.”

To stay in the know with the Chester County Food Bank like @ccfoodbank on Facebook and follow @chestercountyfoodbank on Instagram and LinkedIn.

¡Estamos emocionados para la nueva temporada del mercado móvil Fresh2You!

¡Estamos emocionados para la nueva temporada del mercado móvil Fresh2You! Esperamos ver caras conocidas y conectarnos con nuevos amigos en las paradas semanales del mercado.

Tendremos mercados emergentes durante toda la temporada, así que asegúrese de seguirnos en Facebook e Instagram para ver dónde aparece Fresh2You. Estamos emocionados de que nuestros voluntarios de Taste It regresarán a la mayoría de los mercados con demostraciones de recetas semanales.

Programación Fresh2You:  7 de junio – 19 de noviembre 2022

Calendário Fresh2You:  7 de junho – 19 de novembro 2022

El horario del mercado está sujeto a cambios. Vuelva a consultar aquí o síganos en Facebook e Instagram para obtener actualizaciones. No dude en enviarnos un correo electrónico a fresh2you@chestercountyfoodbank.org si tiene preguntas. Las cancelaciones meteorológicas se publican en Facebook e Instagram.

Vea abajo por una lista de mercados agrícolas que aceptan Veggie Bucks como forma de pago.

 

MARTES / TERÇAS

2:00 – 4:30p
Coventry Mall
(Detrás Boscov’s)
351 W. Schuylkill Rd., Pottstown

 

MIERCOLES / QUARTAS

10:00am – 12:30pm
Phoenixville Senior Center
153 Church St., Phoenixville

 

JUEVES / QUINTAS

11:00am – 1:00pm
Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center/
Centro Médico de Veteranos de Coatesville
1400 Blackhorse Hill Rd., Coatesville

2:30 – 4:30p
M&T Bank – Honey Brook
4711 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook

 

VIERNES / SEXTAS

10:00am – 12:30pm
Oxford Library / Biblioteca de Oxford
48 S. 2nd St., Oxford

 

SÁBADO

9:00am – 11:0pm
Coatesville (Masonic Lodge/Loja Maçônica)
360 E. Lincoln Hwy, Coatesville

 

 

 

Veggie Bucks

Los Veggie Bucks se pueden canjear en estos lugares por frutas y verduras:

 

Mercado de agricultores de Downingtown
28 E. Pennsylvania Ave, Kerr Park
sábado | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
¡Este mercado también acepta SNAP!

Mercado de agricultores de Eagleview
Eagleview Town Center, Exton
estacionamiento sobre el jardín comunitario
jueves | 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
¡Este mercado también acepta SNAP!

Mercado de agricultores de Malvern
Burke Park, at Warren Ave and Roberts Rd.
sábado 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
¡Este mercado también acepta SNAP!

Kings Sweet Corn & Produce
2849 Lower Valley Rd, Parkesburg
lunes – sábado 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
y encontrarlos como vendedor en:
Mercado de agricultores de Kennett Square
401 Birch St.
viernes | 3:00 – 6:00 pm

 

West Chester Food Co-op
142 E. Market St, West Chester
martes | 3:00 – 7:00 pm

 

 

Fresh2You Mobile Market 2022 Season

 

 

Shop Fresh2You:  June – November 2022

We are excited for a fresh new season of our Fresh2You Mobile Market! We are looking forward to seeing familiar faces and connecting with new friends at weekly market stops.

We will have host pop-up markets throughout the season so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see where Fresh2You is popping up.  We are excited that our Taste It! volunteers will return to most of the markets sampling weekly recipe demonstrations.

2022 Fresh2You Schedule – June 7 – November 19

Market schedule is subject to change. Check back here or follow us on Facebook & Instagram for updates. Feel free to email us at fresh2you@chestercountyfoodbank.org with questions. 

You can also shop using your Veggie Bucks at our Veggie Bucks Partners. See the list below for schedules and partners. **

 

TUESDAYS

Coventry Mall
(Behind Boscov’s)
351 W. Schuylkill Rd., Pottstown
2:00 – 4:30p


WEDNESDAYS 

Phoenixville Senior Center
153 Church St., Phoenixville
10:00am – 12:30pm


THURSDAYS 

Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center
1400 Blackhorse Hill Rd., Coatesville
(campus is open to the public)
11am – 1pm

M&T Bank – Honey Brook
4711 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook
2:30 – 4:30pm


FRIDAYS 

Oxford Library
48 S. 2nd St., Oxford
10:00 am – 12:30pm


SATURDAYS

Coatesville
360 E. Lincoln Highway, Coatesville
9:00 – 11:00 am

 

 

 

Veggie Bucks Partners

Fresh2You accepts all forms of payment, including cash, credit/debit, SNAP/EBT , FreshRx, and WIC or Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks. For customers shopping with SNAP/EBT or FMNP, Fresh2You can stretch your food budget by offering matching dollars in the form of Veggie Bucks.  These can be used on any future purchases of fruits and vegetables during the Fresh2You season! Veggie Bucks can be redeemed at any Fresh2You Market and at these locations for fruits and vegetables:

Downingtown Farmers Market
28 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Kerr Park
Saturdays | 9:00 am – Noon
* This market also accepts SNAP

Eagleview Farmers Market
Eagleview Town Center, Exton
Parking lot above the community garden
Thursdays | 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
* This market also accepts SNAP

Malvern Farmers Market
Burke Park at Warren Ave. and Roberts Rd.
Saturdays | 9:00 am – Noon
* This market also accepts SNAP

Kings Sweet Corn & Produce
2849 Lower Valley Rd., Parkesburg
Monday – Saturday | 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Find them as a vendor at:
Kennett Square Farmers Market
401 Birch St.
Fridays | 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

West Chester Cooperative
142 E. Market St., West Chester
Tuesdays | 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

 

 

April is National Volunteer Month

April is National Volunteer Month! We’d like to take this opportunity to celebrate and show appreciation for our dedicated volunteers, and to highlight the importance of an ongoing commitment to volunteering. We are only able to address food insecurity in Chester County because of the immense support that we receive from both volunteers and donors alike. Without committed volunteers who return month after month, year after year…there simply would not be a Chester County Food Bank!

Volunteer Month is a great time to get involved.  The temperatures are rising and Spring is here so we’ll be adding more volunteer opportunities each month. Be sure to check our calendar regularly for new openings.

 

In honor of National Volunteer Month, here are some interesting tidbits about volunteering:

The Value of Your Time

Did you know that there’s a dollar amount equivalent to volunteer service? The estimated value of volunteer service in Pennsylvania is $26.67/hour. That amounts to $334,015 of estimated value volunteer hours for the Chester County Food Bank in 2021!

By the Numbers

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of volunteering, especially activities done individually rather than through organizations. Examples include grocery shopping for older neighbors or friends and making face masks to give to people who could not obtain them. The people doing this type of volunteering—termed “direct volunteers”—are not counted as employed or as volunteers in U.S. statistics because they are not doing this work through an organization.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent data (2015), here are some quick facts about volunteering nationwide:

  • 2 million people volunteered at least once between September 2014-2015, which equals a national volunteer rate of just under 25%. Impressive!
    (2,484 of those volunteers were with the County Food Bank!)
  • The volunteer rate for women is about 27.8%, while the rate for men is 21.8%. Gotta catch up, gentlemen!
  • Adults between the ages of 35-54 are most likely to volunteer, while young adults are the least likely to serve.

Reasons to Volunteer

If you haven’t volunteered with the Food Bank before, you may ask yourself ‘why should I?’. Here are some great reasons why you should give us a try. Volunteering with us can:

  • Teach you new skills, or perfect skills that you already have
  • Help to fill out your resume
  • Allow you to network with people who have similar skills or interests
  • Help you stay active and engaged
  • Give you a break from screens and your “normal day-to-day”
  • Provide a safe and comfortable environment where social skills can be improved
  • Offer a new perspective and appreciation for people outside of your typical social circle
  • Lead to new friends
  • Learn about the Chester County Food Bank and our work in your community

Have more questions about volunteering?  Email our Volunteer Manager or call 610-873-6000.

 

Favorite Quotes

We are always inspired by our volunteers. Here are a few famous quotes to inspire you to GET INVOLVED.

  • “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” – Muhammad Ali
  • “Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
  •  “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”  – Oscar Wilde
  • “If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” — Kofi Annan
  • “It’s easy to make a buck.  It’s a lot tougher to make a difference. ” – Tom Brokaw
  • “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss
  • “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Want to learn more? 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 mobilize our community to ensure access to real, healthy food.

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Support Local. Give Today

According to our research, fresh produce is the most requested item among those visiting food pantries. *

50% of the 3.5 million pounds of food distributed by the Chester County Food Bank is fresh fruits and vegetables – 39% locally grown in Pennsylvania, Chester County, or from our own farms and gardens.

We hope to sustain this high volume and variety of healthy food for our network of community partners that distribute to our neighbors in need. But we can’t do it without your support. We are experiencing the highest price increases since we opened in 2009 – some prices are up as much as 300%.

In addition to rising costs, we are also seeing an increased demand for food assistance. With the effects of the pandemic intertwined with inflation, our neighbors here in Chester County – families, children, seniors, and veterans continue to struggle.

Support Local. Give Today.

CCFB Receives Gift from the Michael & Nancy Pia Foundation Fund to Support Fresh Food Programs

Chester County Food Bank is pleased to announce a donation from the Michael & Nancy Pia Foundation Fund through the Chester County Community Foundation. The funds will be used to improve access to affordable, healthy, local foods through the Chester County Food Bank’s Fresh2You Mobile Market.

 

The generous monetary donation will be used to purchase a customized refrigerated market-style cargo truck. After serving our communities for six seasons, the first Fresh2You truck no longer has the capacity to visit markets on a regular basis. Historically, Fresh2You has operated with two vehicles. The new vehicle will enable CCFB to provide a market at two locations simultaneously with the goal to increase the number of Fresh2You participants by expanding our number of markets.

“Michael and Nancy are well known for their charitable giving in the community, and their focus on children and families experiencing homelessness and food insecurity,” said Andrea Youndt, CEO of the Chester County Food Bank. “We are so very grateful for their investment in the Chester County Food Bank in support of our mission to ensure access to healthy food.”

The Fresh2You Mobile Market travels throughout Chester County providing fresh foods from local farmers paired with education on healthy cooking to communities with limited food access. The “farm stand on wheels” was established in 2015 and serves over 2,500 people each year. To make fresh local food accessible to all, Fresh2You accepts all forms of payment including SNAP (food stamps) and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks. Purchases made with SNAP or FMNP are matched with CCFB’s Veggie Bucks, a form of currency that can be used on future purchases of fruits and vegetables. There are additional financial incentives including a senior and veteran discount. Fresh2You Mobile Market provides about 60,000 pounds of food each season with over 50 varieties of produce.

“We are delighted to be a part of this collaborative partnership that provides such a valuable resource to our community,” said Nancy Pia. “We are inspired by the work of the Chester County Food Bank to help alleviate food insecurity, and we’re proud to help them deliver healthy food (and hope) to our neighbors.”

Fresh2You also partners with eight health clinics to provide Fruit and Vegetable Prescriptions (FVRx) to individuals screening positive for food insecurity by their healthcare providers. Participants can redeem their ‘prescription’ at any Fresh2You market location and shop for foods that meet their personal and cultural preferences.

 

About Michael & Nancy Pia
Michael Pia has worked his entire career in the family’s mushroom farming business, South Mill Champs, which has grown to be the third-largest mushroom producer in North America. Nancy is an educator, having taught in both local and inner-city schools. She is also an artist and published writer. In 2002, the Pias established the Michael and Nancy Pia Foundation to formalize their charitable giving. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children and supports organizations and programs focused on those areas. In 2018, the Pias established the Michael & Nancy Pia Foundation Fund through the Chester County Community Foundation to expand the reach of their charitable giving. The Fund is focused on specific areas relating to children and families: homelessness, poverty, and hunger; health and mental well-being; and education.

 

The Michael and Nancy Pia Fund is a fund of the Chester County Community Foundation.  A copy of the Chester County Community Foundation’s official registration and financial information may be obtained by calling the PA Dept. of State at 1-800-732-0999 (toll free in PA).  Registration does not imply endorsement.  EIN 23-2773822.

CCFB Receives $50,000 from QVC to Support Programs for Seniors

Chester County Food Bank is pleased to announce a $50,000 donation from QVC. The funds will be used to provide food to older adults, age 60 and over, through the Chester County Food Bank’s Grocery Box Program.

Seniors who are food insecure — which means they have insufficient or unreliable access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy, active life — are at a greater risk for the detrimental health effects hunger can cause. In fact, families that include a member over 50 are far more likely to also include someone with high blood pressure and diabetes — conditions that can be mitigated by healthy food.

“QVC continues to be a great partner in fighting hunger throughout Chester County,” said Andrea Youndt, CEO of the Chester County Food Bank. “The pandemic has created an extraordinary amount of burden for our most vulnerable populations and this generous grant will help us continue to provide nutritious food to seniors in need across the county.”

The Grocery Box provides older adults with monthly boxes filled with low-sugar and low-sodium groceries such as grains, canned vegetables and fruits, and canned meats. The boxes also include recipes and information about other resources for at-risk seniors. The goal is to include items that are simple to cook and can be used in multiple different recipes to cater to seniors’ needs. Food for the Grocery Boxes is sourced by CCFB and packed by staff and volunteers. The packed boxes are then delivered to designated agency partners who run senior-focused programs within the food bank’s community agency network.

 

“As a corporate neighbor, QVC is committed to supporting efforts that create positive change for the communities where we live and work,” said Suzanne Quigley, Director of Global Corporate Responsibility for Qurate Retail Group, home to QVC. “QVC has supported the Chester County Food Bank through various initiatives including corporate giving, food donations, and employee volunteerism. By fostering an even stronger connection with the Food Bank through our support of programs for older adults, we hope to further their efforts in addressing food insecurity in the Chester County region.”

 

Learn more about the Chester County Food Bank? You can also donate food, funds, and time to help us achieve our mission.  Thanks to you, we’re growing a healthier community.

The Chester County Food Bank is the central hunger relief organization serving more than 150 food cupboards, meal sites, and social service organizations throughout Chester County. We mobilize the community to ensure access to real, healthy food.

FREE WORKSHOP (virtual) : Planning the 3 Season Garden

Planning a vegetable garden and successfully harvesting your own produce is easy with a three-season plan. Join us for a free workshop (via Zoom) on Wednesday, February 9 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. Whether you are new to gardening or a seasoned gardener this workshop will include the information to get you ready for Spring planting and three seasons of crops!

Register here for the workshop and to #getgrowingChesterCounty.

 

 

CEO Message: Reflecting on My First Year

As I reflect on my first year as the Chester County Food Bank CEO, I am grateful for the outpouring of support and collaboration from our community. Together, we met the challenges before us; we worked through the increased needs of our neighbors and the uncertainty of the pandemic. The Chester County Food Bank rose to those challenges with innovative solutions to fulfill our mission to ensure access to real, healthy food.

THANK YOU…. to our community partners, donors, volunteers, staff, and Board for their enduring commitment to our vision for a food secure Chester County. With the help of friends like you, we strengthened our network’s infrastructure and ensured our continued ability to serve our 160 community agency partners across Chester County.

 

This year is already posing challenges with rising food and transportation costs and supply chain concerns. We are seeing an increase in demand for food assistance; many households are being forced to adjust their shopping lists or seek help from food cupboards, some for the first time. The need for the Chester County Food Bank has never been greater, and our appreciation of the support we receive has never been stronger.

I cannot thank you enough for partnering with us on this journey. With your help, we are not only making a difference today, but every day in everything we do to fulfill our mission and vision for a food secure Chester County.