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Local Farm Partners

From Gleaning to Growing

Growing Our Roots

local farm partners

How We Started

Our partnerships with local farmers grew out of the Chester County Gleaning Program that was established in 1996 by then Commissioner (and eventual State Senator) Andrew Dinniman. Along with Volunteer Chairperson Elmer Duckinfield, the Gleaning Program focused on gathering excess produce from local farms that may otherwise go to waste. After the Food Bank began in 2009, we adopted the Gleaning Program and spearheaded the coordination of volunteers to harvest at partner farms. In 2013, with the addition of an on-staff farmer, Bill Shick, we began growing our own seedlings and managing land at our farm partners, increasing production and diversifying our crops for distribution to food cupboards and agencies. With the help of over a thousand volunteers each season, we grow and harvest over 160,000 pounds of produce!

“You guys grow the best stuff! I’m always in awe and so impressed with what you all do and how you do it!” – Dara, Farm Volunteer

Springton Manor Farm

Springton Manor Farm is a beautiful 300 acre county park in Glenmoore, which has been a working farm since the 1700s. The Food Bank’s portion of the park features a 36 foot greenhouse for seedling production, an 80 foot high tunnel (hoop house) that we can harvest vegetables from year-round, raised bed gardens, and nearly an acre of field near the Great Barn that is utilized for growing vegetables.

This aspect of our agricultural program enables us to provide unique learning and volunteer opportunities, made possible through the generosity of the Chester County Commissioners. The community is welcome to visit the park that is open year-round and see first hand how the Food Bank is taking a fresh approach to fighting food insecurity and instilling the importance of agriculture.

Pete’s Produce Farm at Westtown School

The Food Bank grew on farmland that Pete Flynn, the original farmer who set aside land for the Gleaning Program and a former Food Bank Board member, allocated to our farming program. The Food Bank farmed at the Westtown Farm for over 10 years until Farmer Pete’s retirement in 2022. Pete’s Produce Farm was a favorite site for volunteers and along with our farmer grew and harvest a variety of vegetables for our community.

Affiliated Farm Partners

We are fortunate to be affiliated with additional farms throughout Chester County with whom we work but do not coordinate volunteers nor grow in their fields as part of our Agricultural Program. Our relationship with these farms affords us the ability to purchase direct or receive donations from them.

Get Involved

Volunteer opportunities are available for individuals and groups at our farms from April – November.