COATESVILLE (June 10) – State Senator Andy Dinniman recently joined volunteers and officials from the Chester County Food Bank to recognize National Hunger Awareness Month at the Coatesville Community Gardens located next to Trinity Episcopal Church on East Lincoln Highway in Coatesville.

“I must thank the volunteers who make all of this possible,” Dinniman said. “Thank you for stepping forward and answering the call of our neighbors in need. Hunger is a solvable problem and together we will continue to work to help ensure that no one in our region goes hungry.”6.6.14 Coatesville Gardners

The Coatesville Community Gardens, established several years ago by the Rev. Sherry Deets, is a partnership between the Chester County Food Bank and other local churches and community services organizations. The garden is tended by local parishioners, community residents and food bank volunteers.

Larry Welsch, executive director of the Chester County Food Bank, emphasized the importance of offering healthy, nutritious food to those in need.

“Through partnerships like this and those with home gardeners and area farmers, our growing program continues to be a vital part of our mission to provide fresh, locallygrown food to those in need,” Welsch said.

Since 1996, when Dinniman helped establish the Chester County Gleaning Program (now part of the Chester County Food Bank), the organization has harvested and distributed more than a million pounds of fresh produce to those in need. A portion of that yield comes through 621 raised-bed gardens at hundreds of Chester County sites maintained and tended by individual families, schools and local companies, as well as churches, synagogues and mosques.

Last year alone, the food bank grew and distributed 650,000 pounds of fresh produce through partnerships with home gardeners, community gardens, local farms and businesses and Chester County.

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