Supplemental Food Relief
Sometimes it’s most efficient to provide food directly to kids, seniors, and families. While most of the food we provide goes out to the community through our network of more than 160 nonprofit partners, we also distribute food straight to those we serve when there’s no partner available in a neighborhood, or where that’s the most effective way to reach a particular area or group.
We provide pre-packed food boxes or packs to high-need populations based on their unique preferences and nutritional needs. We offer several grocery box programs that aim to create a full plate for people while meeting specific nutritional requirements based on where they are in their life cycle. Most people enrolled in one of these programs also receive additional non-perishables and/or fresh produce, meat, and dairy.
Backpack Food Packs
Backpack Food Packs are our largest effort providing food to children of food insecure families who are not accessing a food pantry. We work with schools, Head Start, and after-school programs to discreetly identify children who need food during the weekend. The food packs for each student include kid-friendly and healthy foods to provide two breakfasts, two lunches, and snacks.
Students who are on free or reduced lunch, or show signs of food insecurity, are eligible. The backpack food packs are provided to schools to then give out on Fridays so that students have supplemental food over the weekend.
Food is selected based on feedback from our partners who inform us of the unique personal and cultural preferences of the families we serve. Students can prepare most of the items on their own or would require very few added ingredients to prepare. For example, food provided in the backpacks can include items such as shelf-stable milk, pancake mix, cereal, oatmeal, applesauce, fruit cups, and pasta.
Senior Grocery Boxes
Many older adults face unique challenges related to hunger and food insecurity, often needing to choose between paying for medical bills, rent, or groceries.
Distributed monthly, our Senior Boxes meet the unique nutritional needs of aging adults by including foods that utilize USDA guidelines. Focusing on fruits, vegetables, (many of which are grown by CCFB and its collaborative partners), whole grains, as well as reduced sodium and sugar content, we work to provide boxes with everyday foods that are filled with key nutrients for seniors, such as breakfast cereals with folate, which strengthens mood and cognitive function, and peanut butter with muscle-enhancing potassium.
Older adults can receive monthly senior food boxes that have been decorated with uplifting drawings from our volunteers through Color Some Kindness.
Residents whose household income is at or below 185% of the U.S. poverty level may qualify to receive a Senior Grocery Box. If you are interested in receiving a Senior Grocery Box, please contact us at 610-873-6000 x130.
Food insecurity can have severe health consequences, especially during pregnancy. To assist pregnant mothers at risk of food insecurity, we provide healthy prenatal grocery boxes at prenatal appointments.
Our prenatal boxes are distributed to local health clinics that provide the boxes to pregnant mothers who have screened positive for food insecurity during their appointments. Moms-to-be who have indicated they cannot always access the food they need, are then able to pick up the boxes at their scheduled appointments.
Prenatal boxes are designed to provide expectant mothers with nutritious foods rich in vitamins and minerals needed during pregnancy. Many of the clinics also receive fresh produce from CCFB to supplement the boxes.
Eat Fresh Produce Boxes
Participants in our Eat Fresh cooking classes receive a 20-pound “CSA style” box of fresh produce each week during the six-week program to put their newly learned skills into action at home.
During PA growing season, our produce shares are all PA grown with 60% grown by on-staff farmers and volunteers at one of our Food Bank farm sites.
Boxes include a large variety of produce such as summer and winter squash, leafy greens, root vegetables, and more!
Each Essential Food Box contains pantry essentials to feed a family of four for 3-5 days. The boxes are composed of heart-healthy ingredients that can be supplied to any person or family in need, being mindful of most potential dietary restrictions.
A majority of the food for these boxes is purchased to ensure offerings are consistent for those being served and also to secure sufficient inventory. Unfortunately, supply chain disruptions and a reduction in donated food continue to be a challenge.
Essential boxes are requested by our network of hunger relief partners across Chester County so they can distribute to individuals and families in need.
Summer Student Boxes
Our Summer Boxes help ensure that students who rely on school for breakfast and lunch can continue to receive nutritious foods throughout the summer when school is not in session. We work to fill the gap in the summer months when children can no longer receive free or reduced meals at school by providing grocery boxes with nutritious foods kids need to continue growing and learning, even when school is not in session.
Color Some Kindness
We are grateful for the hundreds of families, organizations, and individuals that have Colored Some Kindness for our Grocery Boxes for Seniors through the years. What started out as a volunteer opportunity for children and families to give back to our community has blossomed into a widespread effort to send a caring word and goodwill to our neighbors who are experiencing difficulty in their lives.
Due to the popularity of the program, delayed return of decorated boxes, and inflated cost of materials, we will only be hosting on-site at the Food Bank coloring opportunities. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram pages for ‘Open House’ coloring days or if you would like to schedule a group to come to CCFB to color, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Keep Our Programs Going
Our direct distribution programs bring nutritious meals to those who need them most. You can make it more possible through your donation. Give Today or to make an impact all year join our community of monthly donors, Beyond Hunger 365.