Chester County Food Bank to provide meals to students during summer

The Chester County Food Bank stays busy year round, helping address the major food insecurity in the region. 

"According to the MIT living calculator, here in Chester County, a family of four with two working adults, to meet all their needs, needs to make a little less than $140,000 a year to get by," said Nicholas Imbesi, the Senior Manager of Advocacy & Government Relations at the Chester County Food Bank.

Inflation is part of the reason the food bank offers services for parents and students in the area. 

"During the school year, we provide what we call our ‘backpack bags ’which go home in the backpack of children throughout the community, every single Friday and contain breakfast and lunch items," said Catie Mahoney, the Director of Food Access and Education at Chester County Food Bank.

A service that many kids rely on throughout the school year, but when the academic year ends, so does that access. 

That’s something the food bank is changing, starting with a box that has cool works of art by young volunteers on the outside, and food essentials inside. 

"We got some really kid-friendly snacks like sweet potato crackers and sun butter. It includes 15 different breakfast items, it also includes 10 lunches, and 30 snacks," said Mahoney.

The boxes will be distributed once a month from June to August, per student. 

This works alongside the food banks' prepared meals program, which provides meals to students during the summer.

Starting this summer is also another useful form of assistance, the new Pennsylvania Summer EBT program, that will give $40 per month, per child, for those in need. 

"Food insecurity doesn’t know a day of the year right, so, our neighbors are in need of support 365 days of the year and so, that level of support is much needed," said Mahoney. 

The food bank encourages anyone with questions about their programs or the PA Summer EBT program to call or visit their website