Have a Bounty in Your Garden? Share with Your Neighbors

It’s that glorious time of summer when hours of sunshine during the day and a good soaking from evening thunderstorms make for happy plants, as evidenced by the backyard and community gardens positively exploding with fresh fruits and veggies. You can see the tomato and squash plants growing in leaps and bounds before your very eyes!

Some gardens even become so prolific that the gardener has an overwhelming surplus of products to deal with. Sometimes a bounty can feel like a burden; after months spent tending to plants, the last thing a gardener wants is to watch perfectly good plants rot or be eaten away by pests.

If your garden is growing zucchini faster than you can eat it, by all means, surreptitiously drop off some to your neighbors. Then, consider donating some to the food cupboard closest to you.

Here at the Chester County Food Bank, we receive a lot of questions this time of year about donating fresh food from gardens. Every food cupboard is going to have its own guidelines so don’t be shy about reaching out to ask specific questions before dropping off produce. There are more than 30 crops people could be growing right now, all with different harvest directions. Please review our best practices for harvesting and donating produce or watch this general tips for harvesting video. Please only donate quality produce you would eat yourself. Avoid donating bruised. or overly mature veggies.

One thing we can recommend for sure is not allowing your zucchini to grow to the size of baseball bats! When squash gets too big, the flavor and texture suffer, and the seeds can become tough and inedible. Sure, people can potentially shred one up for zucchini bread or muffins, but this wonderful produce won’t go as far to provide nutrition to families in need as when it can be sautéed, grilled, or otherwise cooked into a healthful meal.

Happy harvesting!

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 visit our Volunteer page. 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 our community to ensure access to real, healthful food.

Emily Kovach


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Photos: Pexels

County Commissioners Honor Former Senator Dinniman with Garden Dedication

The Chester County Commissioners recognized retired Senator Andrew Dinniman on June 22, 2021, for his leadership in addressing hunger in the county, and establishing the Chester County Gleaning Program, a forerunner to the Chester County Food Bank’s Farming and Garden Education Programs.

Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline officially dedicated the garden at the County’s Springton Manor Farm as the Senator Andrew Dinniman Garden.  Senator Dinniman retired from public office at the end of 2020 after nearly 30 years as an elected official, serving as a Chester County Commissioner and then as State Senator.

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, Chair Marian Moskowitz said, “When Senator Dinniman announced his plans to retire, we began to think of a way that we could honor his many years of public service, and especially his efforts to address hunger in Chester County.

“The successful Gleaning Program that Andy developed 25 years ago, with a network of volunteers, quickly established a resource for locally grown fruit and vegetables that was distributed to county agencies.  The fruits of his labors, along with those of local farmers, community groups, and individuals, quite literally continue to this day through gardens like those at Springton Manor Farm, managed by the Chester County Food Bank.”

The Chester County Gleaning Program began in 1996, when then County Commissioner Dinniman called a meeting of concerned citizens to address the hunger issue in Chester County.  At that meeting, it was suggested that farm surplus, an untapped source of fresh, nourishing food, was a viable solution to the hunger problem.

“I believe that the problem of hunger, in a place like Chester County, is solvable, and the Gleaning Program was designed to be part of that solution,” said Senator Dinniman.  “I am deeply honored by the Commissioners, naming the Garden in recognition of my public service.”

The first two years of the Chester County Gleaning Program – 1996 and 1997 – yielded around 24 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables, and soon after, a formal structure of the program was established.  By the year 2000, more than 500 volunteers gleaned and delivered more than 32 tons of fresh produce.

“At the end of each Gleaning event, I said that when we are blessed with an abundant harvest, it is our obligation to share the harvest with all,” added Dinniman.

Last year, the Chester County Food Bank distributed more than one million pounds of fresh food throughout Chester County to a network of more than 160 hunger relief partners.

Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell said, “Andy Dinniman was on my School Board when I was a Downingtown student, was my professor at West Chester University, was my Senator when I was Downingtown’s mayor and he’s someone who has inspired me to always stay true to who I am and what I believe. Chester County residents have long reaped the benefits of his vigorous approach to public policy that includes multiple points of view and leaves no one behind. There are a lot of people who run for office to fit in, to me Andy stood out. He’s been my mentor since I met him. I’ll spend the rest of my career trying to turn that A- he gave me into an A+.”

Through its partnership with Chester County government, the Chester County Food Bank is able to grow fresh produce at Springton Manor Farm on one acre of fenced-in field space, in an 80-foot tunnel, and produce a variety of crops in the 32-raised bed Demonstration Garden. Seedlings are also started in Springton Manor Farm’s greenhouse.  The field and gardens are fully maintained by the Food Bank for many visitors to enjoy, with the mission to educate and inspire.

In one year at Springton Manor Farm, the Chester County Food Bank averages 325 volunteers, contributing over 1,800 volunteer hours.  In 2020, nearly 18,000 pounds of produce came from Springton Manor Farm’s field, and nearly 1,500 pounds came from the Demonstration Garden.

“The concept of Senator Dinniman’s Gleaning Program was very simple, yet effective,” said Commissioner Michelle Kichline. “It is why the Chester County Food Bank continued the model when it was established in 2009, and why it has grown to include some year-round operations like the one at Springton Manor.”

“The Chester County Food Bank has nurtured the Gleaning Program into deep-rooted initiatives in agriculture, nutrition, and education,” said Bob McNeil founding and current Chair of the Chester County Food Bank.  “Every day the Food Bank staff works to move our community beyond hunger. Andy has been instrumental in supporting local agriculture and preserving our beautiful Chester County resources for all. The Chester County Food Bank is honored to be a part of his legacy.”

At the event honoring Senator Dinniman, the Commissioners unveiled a sign that reads:

This garden is dedicated to Senator Andrew E. Dinniman for 28 years of public service to the citizens of Chester County.  During his years as a public servant, Andy created and developed Chester County’s Gleaning Program, growing food for those in need.  Chester County Food Bank’s successful Farming & Garden Education Programs owe their roots to the Gleaning Program established by Senator Dinniman in 1996.

Garden Resources

We are to support our growing community of gardeners. Whether you are a beginner or a master gardener, we have a variety of resources to help you make the most of your garden.


Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and tag your garden photos with #GetGrowingChesterCounty

¡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.

Estamos encantados de ver lo lejos que hemos llegado en esta pandemia después de tanta incertidumbre durante la temporada del año pasado. El Mercado Móvil Fresh2You no requerirá que los invitados, el personal y los voluntarios completamente vacunados usen máscaras, pero pedimos que los invitados que no estén completamente vacunados continúen usando una máscara por la salud y la seguridad de nuestra comunidad.

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 2021: 8 de junio – 19 de noviembre

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.



2:30 – 4:30p
Coventry Mall
(por la entrada del patio de comidas)
351 W. Schuylkill Rd., Pottstown



10am – Noon
Phoenixville Senior Center
153 Church St., Phoenixville

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



11am – 1pm
Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center
1400 Blackhorse Hill Rd., Coatesville

2:30 – 4:30p
Coatesville 3rd Ave.
301 Lincoln Hwy East, Coatesville


VIERNES | 10am – Noon

Oxford Library
48 S. 2nd St., Oxford


VIERNES | 10am – Noon | Senior Living Circuit
Abierto a todos para comprar en estas ubicaciones

Coatesville Senior Center
250 Harmony St.
11 de junio, 9 de julio
Primero viernes | 13 de agosto, 10 de septiembre, 8 de octubre, 12 de noviembre


French Creek Manor
501 Mason St., Phoenixville
18 de junio, 16 de julio
Seguno viernes | 13 de agosto, 10 de septiembre, 8 de octubre, 12 de noviembre


Westminster Place Parkesburg
320 W. 1st Ave.
25 de junio, 23 de julio
Tercera viernces | 20 de agosto, 17 de septiembre, 15 de octubre, 19 de noviembre


Whitehall Apartments
3795 Schuylkill Rd., Spring City
2 de julio, 30 de julio
Cuarta viernes | 27 de agosto, 24 de septiembre, 22 de octubre

Fresh2You Mobile Market is Open for the Season



Shop Fresh2You June 8 – November 19, 2021

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 are thrilled to see how far we have come in this pandemic after so much uncertainty throughout last year’s season.  Fresh2You Mobile Market will not require that masks be worn by fully vaccinated guests, staff, and volunteers but we do ask that guests that are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask for the health and safety of our community.

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.

2021 Fresh2You Schedule: June 8 – 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. Weather cancellations are posted on Facebook and Instagram.



2:30 – 4:30p
Coventry Mall
(by the food court entrance)
351 W. Schuylkill Rd., Pottstown



10am – Noon
Phoenixville Senior Center
153 Church St., Phoenixville

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



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

2:30 – 4:30p
Coatesville 3rd Ave.
301 Lincoln Hwy East, Coatesville


FRIDAYS | 10am – Noon

Oxford Library
48 S. 2nd St., Oxford


FRIDAYS | 10am – Noon | Senior Living Circuit
Open to everyone to shop at these locations


Brandywine Valley Active Aging – Coatesville Campus
250 Harmony St.
June 11, July 9
First Friday | August 6, September 3, October 1, November 5


French Creek Manor
501 Mason St., Phoenixville
June 18, July 16
Second Friday | August 13, September 10, October 8, November 12


Westminster Place Parkesburg
320 W. 1st Ave.
June 25, July 23,
Third Friday | August 20, September 17, October 15, November 19


Whitehall Apartments
3795 Schuylkill Rd., Spring City
July 2, July 30
Fourth Friday | August 27, September 24, October 22




Honor Mom with a Gift of Hope ❤


Hooray for MOMS!  For the moms, grandmas, nanas, godmothers, foster moms, bonus moms, aunts, wives, sisters, friends, neighbors, mentors… ALL the women who give and love with a mother’s heart!

This Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 9) honor someone special by making a gift in their honor to the Chester County Food Bank.  As a token of our appreciation for your donation of $50, we will send a special collection of twelve notecards (four each of three designs) to your loved one.

Your support helps our neighbors struggling to put food on the table. Your donation feeds hope ❤ Mama would be proud.

Notecard collection includes: (12) 3.5 in. x 5 in. postcard style cards. Four each of three designs plus envelopes and a sticker. 


We cannot guarantee the arrival of the notecards in time for Mother’s Day, however, we can send an email telling them that a gift has been made in their honor and to expect a little something in the mail. (Be sure to click the box to ‘notify the following person of my gift’ to complete the form for the recipient’s address. If you would like for us to email your recipient, put their email address in the box below address.) Recipients are notified of gift made in their honor but are not alerted to the amount.

If you are local, you can pick up the notecards at our location in Exton. Please email Terry at tscholl@chestercountyfoodbank.org if you would like to schedule an in-person pickup.



CCFB and Hoover Financial Named as a Philadelphia Business Journal 2021 Faces of Philanthropy

The Chester County Food Bank is honored to be recognized along with Hoover Financial Advisors as a Philadelphia Business Journal 2021 Faces of Philanthropy.

Organized by the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Faces of Philanthropy awards recognize companies in Greater Philadelphia who, through philanthropic initiatives with a local non-profit organization, have made a large impact on the Greater Philadelphia community through monetary donations, social impact, and community involvement.

Hoover’s first volunteering with CCFB back in 2012 at our previous location in Guthriesville.

The partnership between CCFB and Hoover Financial Advisors (HFA) started in 2012 when HFA presented their first financial gift to CCFB along with their team volunteering at the gardens located at the Food Bank’s previous location in Downingtown.  In 2013 they launched their “Fall Funds for Food” drive as a collaborative effort with their financial clients for a canned food collection and matching funds drive.  Since then, HFA has continued to provide sweat equity volunteering over 300 hours and donating more than $110,000.

“I have lived in Chester County my entire life and I have a strong desire to give back to the community, said Hoover Financial Advisors CEO Pete Hoover.  “I am shocked by how many people in Chester County, one of the wealthiest counties in the state and country, do not have enough food. This is my town, and I should be able to be there to help people.”

“The team at Hoover Financial Advisors has been a true champion of the efforts and mission of the Chester County Food Bank,” said Anne Shuniak, Senior Marketing Manager at CCFB.  “It is the genuine human interaction and the simple words of “let us know what we can do to help” that exemplifies the HFA / CCFB partnership.”

CCFB Collaborates with Aidan’s Heart Foundation to Install Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Ten years ago Dr. Bradley Dyer was on call for his practice, All Star Pediatrics, when he was contacted by the Chester County Hospital Emergency Department. A 7-year-old, previously healthy patient, Aidan Silva, collapsed at home and tragically died from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Over the next two years the Silva family channeled their grief into creating Aidan’s Heart Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and training the community on what to do in an emergency.

Fast forward to March 2021, Dr. Dyer, a newly appointed Board member of the Chester County Food Bank, was able to connect Aidan’s Heart with the Food Bank to coordinate the donation of an AED.   “I’m honored to have had the opportunity to come full circle from being a health care provider to receiving the generous donation from Aiden’s family on behalf of the Food Bank. “said Dr. Dyer of the partnership.

All CCFB staff are going to be trained in the use of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to help during an unexpected life-threatening emergency of sudden cardiac arrest, the #2 cause of medical death.

“We are thrilled to partner with such a wonderful organization that is providing much needed food to the community,” said Rita Stern Executive Director of Aidan’s Heart. “This will be our 102nd AED donation to support our mission of keeping our communities’ heart-safe.” Stern added, “we are very impressed with the great work the CCFB is doing to combat hunger in the community and their dedication to keep their workplace safe.”

“For the Chester County Food Bank and Aidan’s Heart Foundation, this is a wonderful (and potentially lifesaving) example of organizations coming together as partners in the community,” said CCFB CEO, Andrea Youndt.

Honoring Black History: Frederick McKinley Jones

An important part of history is the many inventive contributions of Black Americans. Often these achievements are overlooked or unknown, yet make our daily lives easier and more efficient. One such invention is vital to the food industry and an integral part of the Food Bank’s mission to mobilize the community to ensure access to real, healthy food.

Frederick McKinley Jones was a master of electronics whose largely self-taught experiences led him to invent a wide range of devices relating to sound, automobiles and most notably refrigeration. In 1935, he invented the first automatic refrigeration system for long-haul trucks and railroad cars.

His pioneering designs for mobile refrigeration units led to the formation of the Thermo-King Corporation (Minneapolis) and revolutionized the field of transport refrigeration.  His invention radically altered American consumer’s eating habits; now people could eat fresh produce across the United States during the middle of summer or winter.

You can see Jones’s innovation on many refrigerated trucks that you see on the road today, including the Chester County Food Bank trucks!

Frederick McKinley Jones patented more than 60 inventions but is best known for innovations in mobile refrigeration. Jones was one of the most prolific Black inventors in history earning him a place in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Andrea Youndt Named New Chief Executive Officer of Chester County Food Bank

The Chester County Food Bank is pleased to announce Andrea Youndt as the new Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Larry Welsch, who retired from the organization at the end of December after serving over ten years as the founding executive director. Youndt began her position on January 4.

Ms. Youndt’s extensive nonprofit experience includes nearly 20 years with regional YMCAs
serving as Executive Director, District Vice President and most recently as Senior Vice President / Chief Operating Officer of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine.

“The Chester County Food Bank is an admired organization in the county, and I am honored to have been selected to continue the work that Larry started with the organization,” said Youndt. “I am looking forward to joining the CCFB team of passionate and talented professionals.”

The Chester County Food Bank is the central hunger relief organization in Chester County serving over 120 network partners such as food cupboards, shelters, and senior centers. The Food Bank distributes more than 3.2 million pounds of food and has seen an upwards of 30% increase of need since the start of the coronavirus in March 2020.

“I am in awe of the work of Food Bank and its network of community partners,” said Youndt. “I look forward to bringing my experience to this talented team as we continue to ensure access to real, healthy food and to prepare for the post-COVID rebuilding.”

“We had a tremendous response to the CEO position; applicants from near and far,” said Bob McNeil, Founding (and current) Chairman of CCFB. “Andrea’s energy and passion for Chester County along with her extensive strategic planning and relationship building with the YMCA made her a standout for the role of CEO,” continued McNeil. “Larry made an outstanding legacy at the Food Bank,” said McNeil. “The Board of Directors looks forward to working with Andrea as she makes her place with this team of extraordinary people that have an admirable passion for the mission of the Food Bank.”

“The role of Executive Director has been the greatest opportunity of my career, said Larry Welsch upon his retirement. “I had the privilege of learning from the staff, agencies, donors, and clients and for that I am eternally grateful. I have no doubt of the compassion that Andrea will bring to CCFB and the community,” said Welsch. “I am excited to watch her journey.”

Youndt, holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Delaware and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Wilmington University.  Originally from Lancaster County, she was a resident of Glen Mills for 25 years, and for the past four years has lived in Kennett Square, Chester County.

Ms. Youndt has led 12 mission trips through the Bread for the Children mission program to Lima, Puculpa, and Iquitos, Peru over the past 18 years.