Tag Archives: giving

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. 

CCFB and Whole Foods Market Exton: A Tasty Partnership for Good

Exton is abuzz with the news that Whole Foods Market is set to open in town on Thursday, January 18. This is a great development for the region, not only because the 50,000-square-foot market will provide an amazing array of produce, meats, dairy, prepared foods and more (with a local focus, when possible), but because Whole Foods Market is a dedicated community partner in all of the areas in which it has locations.

For example, it’s kicking things off in anticipation of the Exton store opening with an exciting promotion. During the next few weeks leading up to the grand opening, Whole Foods Market is teaming up with a number of local organizations and food-focused businesses to give away Mystery Gift Cards! These secret savings cards are Whole Foods Market gift cards loaded with amounts anywhere between $5 and $100. You won’t find out how much your card is worth until you’re checking out at the register. These Mystery Gift Cards are only valid from January 18–February 4.

Chester County Food Bank is one of the stops on this fun-filled local tour, which offers an opportunity to give back to our neighbors in need:

  • On Monday, January 15, which is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., drop off a food donation at the Food Bank and pick up a Mystery Gift Card! (Available to the first 300 people). Though you may have just given to us during the holidays or with an end-of-year gift, food insecurity continues as an issue for many of our neighbors all year long. Deep winter can be especially tough for families and seniors, whose costs of living can dramatically increase as heating bills go up. Our most needed items are nonperishable goods, such as canned tuna, canned chicken, canned fruit, peanut butter, beans and cereal. (Please, no homemade goods, glass jars or expired food.) Once you’ve dropped off your donation, you’re invited to stay and enjoy on-site kids’ activities and snacks from the Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value brand.

Later in the month, there will be another great opportunity to make a huge impact on CCFB through Whole Foods Market:

  • On Wednesday, January 24, Chester County Food Bank will be the recipient of Whole Foods Market in Exton’s 5% Day, when 5 percent of the day’s sales will be donated to us. If there are pantry staples you need to stock back up on after the holidays, vitamins or supplements you’ve been eyeing or it’s just time for your weekly shopping trip, we urge you to come in that day to help your money work overtime to benefit CCFB. Some of the Food Bank crew will be at the store along with programming and kids’ activities throughout the day in the store.

The Whole Foods Market team is just as excited as we are about this partnership. Alison Marcantuno, the Exton team store leader, says, “We are proud to partner with the Chester County Food Bank for Whole Foods Market Exton’s first Community Giving Day on Wednesday, January 24. Chester County Food Bank’s work to combat hunger by providing access to real and healthy food aligns well with Whole Foods Market’s core values. We are excited to help raise money to support their important mission, and hope the community will shop with us on January 24!”

Help us welcome Whole Foods Market to Exton while giving back to CCFB’s mission to ensure access to real, healthy food in our communities!

Want to learn more? Sign 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 request 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

Photos: Whole Foods Market