Lesson in thrift, nutrition benefits Food Bank

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Students learn to stretch their dollars while assisting needy   

Participants in the third Food Check-Out, sponsored by the Chester Delaware County Farm Bureau, get recognition from County Commissioners Ryan Costello (left), Kathi Cozzone (third from right), and Terence Farrell (right). Susan Rzucidlo, who organized the project, is second from right.

Participants in the third Food Check-Out, sponsored by the Chester Delaware County Farm Bureau, get recognition from County Commissioners Ryan Costello (left), Kathi Cozzone (third from right), and Terence Farrell (right). Susan Rzucidlo, who organized the project, is second from right.

The Life Skills Advanced Placement class at Kennett High School recently spent $95 to buy 291 pounds of food for the Chester County Food Bank.

The class was one of 12 from schools and organizations across Chester and Delaware Counties that participated in the third Food Check-Out. Organized by Susan Rzucidlo for the Chester Delaware County Farm Bureau (CDCFB) over the last few weeks, the effort was recognized by the county commissioners at a special ceremony on Wednesday.

The challenge was for schools to use $100, provided by the Farm Bureau, to purchase the most nutritious food needed by the Food Bank and its local food cupboards by using best buys, coupons and special offers. A Girl Scout group in Delaware was able to purchase $182 worth of food with the $100 donation.

Kennett teachers Susan Larson and Rachel Ceci said their students “used the ChooseMyPlate.gov website, read food nutrition labels, and tried to follow budget and meal plans. We didn’t use a lot of coupons as they were not always for healthy food.”

The Chester County commissioners applauded the initiative. Commissioner Kathi Cozzone said she “would like to see the number of students participating next year quadrupled so that they get experience of household finances and the value of buying nutritious food.”  Commissioners’ Chairman Terence Farrell said it was “great to see children learning the gift of giving,” and Commissioner Ryan Costello confirmed the great value agriculture is to the county economy, reiterating a commitment to “preserving farmland as land is lost when development takes place.”

Phoebe Kitson, program manager for the Chester County Food Bank, thanked all the participants for helping stock the shelves of the local food cupboards. The Food Bank services 32 food cupboards in the county to assist over 70,000 residents. “The cupboards are desperate for food to provide for the increasing number of people in need,” Kitson said. “Programs like this help raise awareness and provide the students with helpful lifelong skills.”

The Chester-Delaware County Farm Bureau is a voluntary organization that works to advance the interests of agriculture and rural communities by working with policy makers at state and federal levels. At the local county level, it carries out programs such as Food Check-Out and Harvest for All to provide food to the hungry and several education programs on food and farming for youth and teachers.

 

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Tags: Chester County commissioners, chester county food bank, Chester Delaware County Farm Bureau, Food Check-Out, Kathi Cozzone, kennett high school, Phoebe Kitson, ryan costello, Susan Rzucidlo, Terence Farrell
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4 Responses

  1. What a wonderful program! Thank you to the organizer and the schools. There’s not a better place than the Chester County Food Bank to be the recipient. You’ve done a great job!

  2. Well done Susan Rzucidlo!! The food banks are in dire need of help at this time and our children are in dire need of lessons on how to choose good food and manage a budget. As, always, you manage to meet multiple needs efficiently and in a cost effective manner!

    Thank you for your work.

  3. excellent job organizing this, susan. thanks from all who care about people and their needs.

  4. Fabulous, Susan. I have been fortunate to have been able to give to the food bank in Coatesville and I can tell you that the hard working staff and the clients truly appreciate it. To teach the students about caring and about smart food purchases is a double LIKE!!! Keep up the good work!

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