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Cupboard to Client: The Journey of Food from the CCFB to Those in Need

For food to get into the hands of our neighbors and community members who need it most, it must go on a journey. Just how does food travel to the Chester County Food Bank and then on to local food cupboards and into the hands of individuals who take it home? Here’s a sneak peek into the process:

We’ve spent the last seven and a half years building and honing the sophisticated food intake and storage capacity that we currently have in our 36,000-square-foot facility. And we’re growing! In the next few years, we will be increasing our refrigeration and freezer space so we can accept more fresh produce and more locally sourced dairy, poultry and meats.

For example: We receive funding from the State Food Purchase Program, a government grant through which we can purchase fresh produce, frozen meats, non-perishables and other items. We can use those funds to purchase more expensive foods that cupboards may not normally have, like shelf-stable milk, which can last on a pantry shelf for up to a year, is easy to transport and store and adds important nutrition to a family’s diet. We can use that grant money to ensure that any family that comes to one of the food cupboards can take home milk every time they visit.

The glue that holds this whole system together—the guides for the food’s journey from cupboard to client—is volunteers. For both the Chester County Food Bank and our community partner agencies, it’s largely volunteer power that helps get food into the hands of the nearly 50,000 people who we provide food for each year. Without a doubt, volunteers are the real heroes with their boots on the ground, making sure that food cupboard doors are unlocked, taking deliveries, attending meetings and so much more. We are so grateful for our own volunteers, who help inspect, process and repack food for our programs, as well as the huge network of volunteers at local food pantries and cupboards. If it wasn’t for them, food would never be able to travel from cupboard to client, and many of our neighbors and community members would go hungry.

Want to learn moreSign 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 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 our community to ensure access to real, healthy food.

Emily Kovach