United States Senator Bob Casey Visits Chester County Food Bank
On January 9th the Chester County Food Bank was honored to host Senator Bob Casey at our facility in Exton. The Senator toured the Food Bank and was able to see the programs and services in action including the community kitchen team plating prepared meals, volunteers packing Grocery Boxes for Seniors and sorting donated food in the warehouse, and the Community Food Access & Education crew showcased the Fresh2You Mobile Market, FreshRx, Eat Fresh, Garden and Agriculture programs.
Following the tour, Senator Casey was able to engage in a constructive conversation with agency partners, volunteers, and an alumna from our FRESHstart Kitchen Culinary Workforce program at a round table discussion moderated by Food Bank staff. The alumna of the FRESHstart Kitchen program shared how she was able to obtain employment as an assistant manager in the restaurant industry because of our programming. She also shared the challenges she is facing with SNAP benefits due to just exceeding the income threshold. Senator Casey learned how the food security network operates through Chester County Food Bank programming and partnerships with agencies throughout the county from all sectors to fulfill the mission of mobilizing the community to ensure access to real, healthy food.
Senator Casey was also interested to learn how the Food Bank is utilizing the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds that were received. The funds are being used to increase refrigeration and cold storage at the Food Bank as well as build capacity across the county in partnership with the Phoenixville Area Community Service organization. In addition, funds will be used to purchase food, open a food pantry with workforce development programming in Thorndale, and create a county-wide food alliance.
The Chester County Food Bank thanks Senator Casey for his visit and for taking the time to learn about the impact the Food Bank, along with over 150 partner agencies, makes in the community every single day. Senator Casey’s determined work in Washington D.C. is vital to ensuring the expansion of SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps), as well as the continuation and growth of the Farmers Market Nutritional Program and other safety net programs, depended upon by so many people in Chester County to make ends meet.