The weather couldn’t have been more exceptional on Wednesday, July 20, when the stage was set for the Fresh2You mobile market ribbon-cutting ceremony at West Chester’s QVC Studio Park campus. Bright sunshine poked through the shade of mature trees as the cool morning breeze energized enthusiastic QVC employees while they perused and selected corn, tomatoes, blueberries and deep-hued eggplants from the shelves and overflowing bins of the lemon yellow truck.
The event came together flawlessly in celebration of the long-term partnership between QVC and the Chester County Food Bank’s newest joint initiative with the Fresh2You Mobile Market—providing employees with the opportunity to purchase produce on site and learn more about this fruitful collaboration.
QVC employees are no strangers to working with the Chester County Food Bank, as popular QVC host and resident gardening guru Carolyn Gracie stated: “We are in awe of what Chester County Food Bank does for the local communities. Growing up in Indiana, my family was well aware of the value of a farm’s produce and how it could be shared with others.”
She continued, “Since 2009, QVC has been involved in several initiatives, including corporate giving, food donations and drives, employee volunteerism and our own on-site community Q-garden (now in its fourth year). Twenty-nine raised beds, which are 100% organic, are actively maintained entirely by volunteer employees from April through October. To date, we have harvested almost 9,000 pounds of produce, of which 70% is given to the Food Bank and its partner food cupboards throughout the county.”
Anne Shuniak, Community Engagement & Marketing Manager for the Food Bank, emphasized, “Last month QVC signed on as the premier sponsor of our Fresh2You initiative. When we came to them with the mobile market concept, they really got it. Through their support, we can now expand our reach into many additional underserved communities in the county.”
“QVC’s partnership also enables the Food Bank to offer a financial incentive, called Veggie Bucks, to shoppers using SNAP (food stamp) benefits matching their purchases up to $10,” Anne continued. “Fresh2You seeks to make fresh, high-quality food accessible to everyone in Chester County. The market accepts multiple forms of payment: cash, credit and debit cards, SNAP/EBT (food stamps), WIC and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition vouchers. We are so grateful to QVC and their premier partnership and continued support of the Food Bank.”
Other dignitaries present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony included Congressman (and lifelong Chesco resident) Ryan Costello and State Senator Tom Killion, who both reiterated the importance of this dynamic team of professionals as well as the employees’ role in supporting the county.
Associates of both organizations worked together outside the QVC building to make this initial event a resounding success. Enthusiasm was evident through selection, purchasing, coupons, spin-the-wheel prizes and sampling of recipes prepared by the Food Bank as part of the education process. Bins of produce were continuously filled as cheerful Food Bank employees rang up and packaged goods for the eager takers.
Suzanne Quigley, QVC’s Director of Community Affairs, summed up the partnership: “Fostering an even stronger connection with the Food Bank through our support of the Fresh2You program, we hope to further their efforts in addressing food insecurity in the Chester County region.”
The Fresh2You mobile market will be available to QVC employees weekly on Wednesdays from 9–11 a.m., alternating between the company’s campuses in West Chester and East Goshen.
The hard-to-miss bright yellow truck will also be traveling throughout Chester County every Monday–Thursday through November, offering local seasonal produce, pasteurized eggs and health-oriented goods as well as nutrition education to empower recipients to make healthful dietary decisions. Find the complete schedule online!
- Photos: Ed Williams