In times of disaster, many people can lose access to food, often with little to no warning or time to prepare. In the event of a weather or other emergency, the Food Bank collaborates with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to serve those affected in Chester County. Our commitment is to provide a hot meal, snack and water for up to 1000 people within six hours of being notified. The emergency meals along with an emergency kit including all the essentials for serving a mass meal (e.g. plates, flatware, gloves, serving utensils) are picked up at the Food Bank by the American Red Cross and distributed to the predetermined emergency shelters that are set up in the County.
The emergency meals are prepared in advance by our staff and volunteers and kept frozen at our facility. Per industry common practice, we have a quarterly rotation schedule for the meals so if they are (hopefully) not needed, they are distributed to one of our partner meal sites.
If we are called into action for an emergency response, the Food Bank executes our emergency preparedness plan and assigned staff reports to heat the meals and ready them for pick up by the American Red Cross. The Food Bank is equipped with a 300 kw generator that can power our 4,250 square foot refrigeration and freezer along with our commercial kitchen enabling us to operate during an emergency as well as keeping cold and frozen inventory safe in the event of a power outage.
Once the response phase ends, short-term needs of food, clothing, and shelter are provided through response organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Through the Department of Emergency Services, the Long Term Recovery Committee would then assist with returning the community and its residents to a normal state of living.