Tag Archives: food donations

How to Give Back on Giving Tuesday and During the Holidays

This time of year, there’s a lot of spending going on—it seems as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are wrapped up and put in the fridge that the frenzy of holiday consumerism is upon us. Of course, there’s Black Friday, when megastores and malls around the country break out their craziest deals and shoppers line up for hours in the cold night to take advantage of sunrise deals.

Over the past decade or so, other shopping occasions have been tacked onto the post-Thanksgiving weekend: Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and, more recently, Giving Tuesday. While we’re not opposed to bargain hunting or great online savings, Giving Tuesday is the day that’s most important to us.

Giving Tuesday launched in 2012 as an initiative begun by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation. The day, focused on charitable giving, is positioned as a response to the nonstop commercialization at the start of the holiday shopping season.

Although we understand that people have been asked to dig deep into their pockets a lot this year to help with hurricanes and other natural disaster relief efforts, victims of mass shootings, wildfires and the growing list of local and global causes that matter to them, we want to remind you to give locally as well. Just as you try to boost the local economy by shopping at the farmers market and supporting independent retailers, please remember your neighbors in need right here in Chester County with a Giving Tuesday donation to Chester County Food Bank on Tuesday, November 27.

At the CCFB, we can turn every dollar given into four dollars’ worth of healthy food. By leveraging our buying power, working with markets and local organizations to rescue food and communicating with our network of farm partners to glean excess crops, we are able to really stretch out our supporters’ generous monetary donations. We use these donations—and the food we can buy with them—to further our many initiatives and programs that combat food insecurity in our communities.

Every year, we notice a cultural switch around charitable giving. Thanksgiving is all about food, but as we turn the corner toward Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, many people begin to donate toys (to other organizations). Gifts for children are important, but hunger never takes a break, especially in the winter, when colder weather often drives up families’ expenses with higher heating bills. As we so often say, hunger lives closer than you think. Though Chester County is home to many middle- and upper middle-class families, many of our neighbors are working families just barely scraping by. In fact, 15 percent of folks in Chester County struggle with food insecurity, and the added financial pressures around the holiday can exacerbate the problem.

Anne Shuniak, CCFB’s marketing and communications manager, reminds us that it’s not just the holidays we’re preparing for. “We’re stocking our shelves for winter days ahead too,” she said. “We’re trying to bring in as much as we can during this time, because it’s always the trend that things slow down in the New Year after the holiday season has passed.”

So as you gear up for holiday giving, consider a monetary donation—our online giving platform includes an easy way to make a tribute gift in a loved one’s honor or memory, and we’ll even send someone a card via email letting them know of your generous gift. What a cool idea for a unique hostess gift, or for a meaningful gesture instead of a physical gift! You can also designate CCFB as your preferred charity on Amazon Smile, and give back while shopping for all the friends and family on your holiday list!

If you’d like to make a food donation, we’re currently most in need of pantry staples like pasta, rice, hearty soups, and canned chicken and tuna. We do accept holiday-specific items, like turkeys, hams and instant potatoes, but its the pantry staples that really help local families put together those day-to-day meals that are just as important (nutritionally) as big holiday feasts. Food donations can be dropped off at our facility in Exton Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Please bring food donations to our warehouse loading dock entrance, where you can pull directly in and will be assisted unloading your vehicle. Note that we will be closed December 24 – 31, and will not reopen until 8 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Thank you for your support and generosity all year long, and for considering us as your focus on Giving Tuesday and the 2018 holiday season!

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 take a steadfast approach to provide food and build support in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among our community.

Emily Kovach

Photos, top to bottom: Pexels; Chester County Food Bank; Ed Williams; Pexels

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

Hunters: Share the Harvest with Your Food Bank

Did you know there’s a program that helps make sure interested hunters may share their bounty with those less fortunate? The Chester County Food Bank was grateful to receive 5,150 pounds of venison in 2015, thanks to Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) and generous local hunters.

HSH is a charitable program that connects hunters with butchers across Pennsylvania who are dedicated to getting venison, a healthful lean protein, to local food banks. This initiative, combined with local hunters’ fundraising and advocacy efforts, puts food on the tables of Pennsylvania’s less fortunate.

Art Lyle of Backyard Bucks has been a longtime supporter of the effort and our Food Bank. He says the group’s members are delighted they can help by simply doing something they love: hunting. For him, however, it goes deeper.

Piece of frozen meat onions and garlic. A table from old boards rural style

“The main reason I got involved was that I grew up in a family of six, and we didn’t always have food—or not much of it,” Art explained. “There were some times we would eat bread or rice, and other times we went to food banks. I always said if I could ever find a way to give back, I would. That extends to Backyard Bucks: We just believe it’s the right thing.”

Art offered these tips for other hunters’ groups that might be interested in helping the Chester County Food Bank:

  • Ask all attending your fundraising event to bring three nonperishable food items. Those who do can get raffle tickets for a chance to win a crossbow, muzzleloader or other prize. This is a great way to collect a lot of nonperishables for the food bank.
  • Encourage each hunter to make a difference by harvesting at least one extra deer and donating it.
  • Help identify property owners willing to open their land to hunters. In particular, properties where nonprofits like Backyard Bucks can hunt free of charge are greatly needed.

Hunters and hunters’ clubs looking to get involved may reach out to the following HSH participating butchers:

  • Countryside Butchering, 269 Long Ln., Honey Brook, PA 19344; 610-273-2629
  • Fisher’s Butcher Shop, 48 Furnace Rd., Quarryville, PA 17566; 717-786-7398
  • Foresta’s Market, 1098 W. Bridge St., Phoenixville, PA 19460; 610-935-1777
  • Noble Road Butcher Shop, 1553 Noble Rd., Kirkwood, PA 17536; 717-529-9031
  • Smokers Custom Butchering, 12 Old Leacock Rd., Ronks, PA 17572; 717-768-7046

Of course, the Chester County Food Bank is also grateful for gifts of nonperishables, grocery store gift cards and financial donations, too. We greatly appreciate our hunter friends who embrace the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program—as do our food cupboards and their clients.

Volunteers Collecting Food Donations In Warehouse

Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. Thanks to you, we’re growing a healthier community.

The Chester County Food Bank collects, stores and distributes food to over 120 food cupboards, meal sites and social service organizations. Since our beginning in 2009, we have increased distribution over 119% by distributing 2.5 million pounds of food. The Food Bank partners with donors, volunteers, farmers, schools and businesses to address hunger and food insecurity with compassion and creativity.

Nina Malone

Photos: BigStock