Bandit: 'Eat healthy, be healthy'

 Chester County, one of the most affluent  areas of the country, has people who would be going hungry if it weren’t for the work of the Chester County Food Bank, said state Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman. He spoke yesterday at a gathering on National Food Day at the Food Bank in Downingtown, an opportunity to dedicate the new facility and honor the many volunteers who have made the effort so successful.

 “The food needs in this county have increased by 54 percent,” said Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman, citing recent statistics. He added that the Food Bank’s gleaning program, a massive effort that brings fresh produce to the Food Bank, passed a milestone this past summer: 1 million pounds harvested.

Larry Welsch, the Food Bank director, cited numerous contributors to the enterprise. One was Betty Moran, a board member who has been one of the Food Bank’s most successful fund-raisers. She attended the event with Bandit, her 14-year-old terrier who has become a mascot for the Food Bank and whose image graces the Food Bank truck. “He wants everyone to eat healthy,” Moran said, pointing out that he obviously does.  

Another standout contributor was Elmer Duckinfield, who coordinates the volunteers and often makes deliveries, Welsch said. “They’re the ones who deserve the credit,” Duckinfield countered, pointing to the dozens of volunteers who attended the celebration.

 Welsch also credited Ruth Kranz-Carl, the county’s Human Services director, who also deflected the kudos. “I have never met people who worked harder, " said Kranz-Carl, pointing out the long hours that Welsch and Robert D. McNeil, the board's chairman, consistently log.