Tag Archives: mobile market

What Is Food Insecurity?

A fully stocked fridge after a trip to the grocery store; a farmer’s market bag stuffed with leafy greens and plump tomatoes; a fruit bowl, spilling over with sweet, ripening fruit: the sensation of abundance is a basic human pleasure. But for so many of our neighbors—more than 50,000 in fact, including 18,000-plus children—this is a feeling they rarely enjoy.

Instead of food wealth, their experience is food insecurity. At Chester County Food Bank, we broadly define food insecurity as “a household that is without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food at any given time.” Though Chester County is the wealthiest county in Pennsylvania, this remains a serious issue for many of our residents.

Food insecurity lies at the heart of CCFB’s mission to mobilize our community to ensure access to real, healthy food. There are numerous reasons why a family may experience food insecurity, either for a few tight months or for years at a time. This situation may be related to unexpected unemployment, a sudden health crisis or disability, or simply a struggle to make ends meet. As of the 2015 American Community Survey, Chester County has 7.1 percent of the population living below the federal poverty level, or approximately 35,000 people. Each family’s complex scenario is the driving force behind our diverse programs.

From Meals on Wheels meal preparation and distribution for seniors on fixed incomes, to our Summer Food Boxes that help bridge the gap for children who rely on free or reduced-price school meals to our Fresh2You Mobile Market, which brings affordable produce to areas where fresh food is scarce, each one of our programs is aimed at solving food insecurity in Chester County.

With the help of our amazing volunteers, committed Community Partners, supportive staff and generous donors, every day brings us one step closer to ensuring that no one in our communities lives with the uneasiness or fear of not knowing where their next meal is coming from.

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: Ed Williams

It’s Back! Fresh2You Mobile Market Hits the Road June 13

What has four wheels, is staffed by friendly faces, is loaded up with delicious things to eat and makes the rounds through Chester County communities all summer (and, into fall)? If you thought an ice cream truck, think again—it’s the Chester County Food Bank’s Fresh2You Mobile Market! This cheerfully painted produce market on wheels, generously sponsored by QVC, hits the road June 13 and rolls throughout the county through November. Tuesday, June 13 is opening market day at the Chester County Family Academy (next to the West Chester Senior Center), and the first Saturday market at the Coatesville Library on June 17 will surely be an exciting and busy day as well!

The coolest thing about the Fresh2You Mobile Market is that it can stop at places where fresh fruits, veggies and healthy locally made staples can be hard to find. The mission of the mobile market is to connect lower-income communities to the fresh produce grown in our region, and to make high-quality food affordable to the whole community while paying farmers fairly for their labor and products.

During the first few weeks of the truck’s schedule, our shelves will be brimming with beautiful seasonal produce, such as a variety of greens like kale and lettuce, slender spring onions, crunchy carrots and sweet tart berries. This year, we’re also offering tasty and nutritious pantry staples: Swarmbustin’ Honey from West Grove, organic and local eggs, a wide variety of dried beans and grains, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and Fresh2You’s special herb blends.

Our 2017 schedule is packed five days each week (Tuesday – Saturday) with stops at various locations including churches, libraries and YMCAs. In addition to setting up shop on a regular basis, our staff and volunteers will frequently hold Taste It! demonstrations to introduce shoppers to ingredients and share creative recipes.

Here’s the full schedule:

Everyone is welcome to shop at Fresh2You Mobile Market, and we accept all forms of payment: cash, credit and debit cards, SNAP/EBT (food stamps), and WIC and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers. This year, we’re offering a wonderful program that provides a dollar-for-dollar match on all fruit and vegetable purchases made with SNAP and FMNP vouchers. Most matching dollar programs throughout the country only match SNAP purchases, but this year we are also able to match FMNP purchases. We are excited to offer our WIC and Senior FMNP shoppers this additional benefit.

To keep up with the Fresh2You Mobile Market, follow the truck’s team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay connected. You can also donate food, funds 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