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WEST GOSHEN — The Chester County Food Bank and QVC has had a long-standing relationship and it has only grown stronger thanks to QVC signing on as the premier corporate sponsor of the food bank’s Fresh2You Mobile Market.
To celebrate the partnership, the Fresh2You truck spent some time at the QVC Studio Park for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.
“It came about through our QGarden initiative,” said Suzanne Quigley, QVC’s community affairs director. “The food bank came out and asked if we wanted to be part of (Fresh2You) and we said absolutely. QVC is all about innovation and this is right up that alley in terms of being really creative and innovative in trying to get to folks where they need it.”
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QVC and the Chester County Food Bank came together originally for the QGarden, which is an on-site, organic community garden with 29 raised beds.
“(They) are actively maintained by QVC employees who volunteer from April until October,” said Carolyn Gracie, a QVC program host. “To date, we’ve harvested 8,862 pounds of produce and 70 percent of that is donated directly to the Chester County Food Bank’s network of food pantries.”
Now, with the food bank’s Fresh2You Mobile Market launching in 2015, QVC was happy to lend even more help in the effort to battle hunger.
“Last month, QVC signed on as the premier corporate sponsor of this innovative program,” Gracie said. “By fostering an even stronger connection with the food bank through our support of Fresh2You, we hope to further their efforts in addressing food insecurity in the Chester County region.”
Having the partnership allows Fresh2You to be able to provide incentive programs to the shoppers, who can purchase the produce with cash, WIC, EBT dollars, SNAP dollars and Farmers’ Market vouchers.
“I am so excited that this truck is here today,” said Anne Shuniak, marketing and community engagement manager at the food bank. “QVC has been a longtime partner and they got it. When we came to them with the Fresh2You, they immediately got it and how, as being a corporate partner, it was going to enable us to do what we need to do with this truck Monday through Thursdays.”
QVC employees took full advantage of having access to fresh fruits and vegetables on the truck, purchasing what they wanted or needed throughout the time Fresh2You was there.
“You never know when you do something new what the response is going to be,” Quigley said. “Our employees are always engaged in community-affairs type of activities. We thought it would be a positive response, but this is awesome. A long line has been sustained the whole time. We are just thrilled and it bodes well for the rest of the program.”
The Fresh2You truck will make a weekly stop at QVC, alternating between the two locations – Studio Park or Founder’s Park.
“It is truly an honor to be able to share these gifts of the Earth with those who are less fortunate, many of whom, unbeknownst to you, live in your own neighborhood, attend your place of worship or (attend) your children’s school right here in Chester County,” Gracie said.
In attendance at the ribbon cutting were U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6, of West Goshen; state Sen. Tom Killion, R-9, of Middletown; and state Rep. Dan Truitt, R-156, of East Goshen.
As long as the Chester County Food Bank continues the work to fight an important battle against hunger in the community, QVC is happy to lend a hand trying to make a difference.
“It makes us proud to be part of the Chester County community to do things that makes it a healthier place to live,” Quigley said. “Our employees work here, live here and play here, so we’re we want to make sure we’re a part of the things that the community is identifying as the tops needs and the top solutions. It’s very exciting.”