Food insecurity for children reaches its most serious point when kids should be enjoying a break – summer. Each summer many kids in our community are left without the breakfast and lunch programs that provide them with the nutritious foods that are so vital. The Chester County Food Bank was formed in 2009 to address the escalating hunger problem in Chester County. The primary goal was, and still is, to have a viable, sustainable organization that secures, manages and distributes food to those in need – throughout the entire year.
Through the network of food cupboards, hot meal sites, shelters and other social service organizations, they distribute over 2.7 million pounds of food to our neighbors.
The Food Bank is more than food drives that put cans on shelves. Below are some programs that provide food and build support, while raising awareness and engagement within our community.
Fresh2You Mobile Market
A one-of-a-kind truck from June through November in a neighborhood near you. Fresh2You makes select stops throughout Chester County bringing fresh, delicious, seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Raised Bed Gardens
The Raised Bed Garden Program was adopted by the Food Bank in 2009 and has grown to over 110 sites being hosted at locations such as schools, corporations, senior centers and churches. Limited volunteer opportunities in the gardens are available April – October. They welcome home gardeners to grow a row and donate produce to your local food cupboard.
EatFresh and EatFresh Kids
Eat Fresh allows participants to gain positive attitudes toward a variety of nutritious foods including fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The six weekly bilingual sessions provide hands-on cooking opportunities and encourage individuals to acquire basic knowledge of nutrition. Kids Eat Fresh allows elementary-age children to gain positive attitudes toward a variety of real, healthy foods. Hands-on cooking, coupled with Raised Bed gardening, encourage students to learn where their food comes from and acquire a basic knowledge of nutrition.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Volunteers are an integral part of the Chester County Food Bank. Whether you want to dig in at one of the partnering farms or gardens, be an ambassador at community events, be hands on in a commercial kitchen, or assist the office team, they would love to have you or your group volunteer!
Color Some Kindness
Decorate cardboard boxes used for the Senior Food Boxes to help brighten the recipient’s day when they receive it. All ages are welcome to participate, but this is a great service opportunity for children. Boxes can be picked up by request from the facility and returned within two weeks. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in this activity.
Every pound of donated food makes a difference. Smaller donations such as a bag of groceries or food in lieu of gifts from a birthday party can be delivered to the facility during receiving hours – Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Bring food donations to the warehouse loading dock entrance where you can pull directly in and will be assisted unloading your vehicle.
Pantry staples needed throughout the year may vary, but these are our most requested no matter the season: pasta & rice / canned fruits & vegetables / canned tuna & chicken / peanut butter / healthy cereal & oatmeal
Meals on Wheels
The Food Bank partners with Meals on Wheels of Chester County to provide healthy balanced meals for home-bound seniors. Volunteers are needed to deliver meals and provide a friendly visit to a senior. If you are interested in volunteering to deliver meals, please visit Meals on Wheels.