Located in the rich agricultural landscape of Northwest Pennsylvania, The Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County is known to rely on local donations from farmers during growing season to provide to their network of agencies. But outside of peak harvest time, the food bank is limited to what is available. To fill this gap in need, The Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County works with the MARC to source a variety of produce such as eggplant, celery, lettuce, cabbage, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green peppers, and cantaloupe. “It’s such a benefit to be able to offer that kind of variety in the months we don’t have a lot of local access and I love that we can provide that to the folks here in Mercer County throughout the year,” said Sarah Worthington, Volunteer and Program Coordinator at the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County.
In addition to variety, Worthington noted that the MARC is very consistent – whether this is through customer service or through distributed products. She described the customer service with the MARC team as very positive and stated, “For how small their staff is, they do a lot of work. They’re consistently responsive to our needs and we’re really grateful for that relationship.” On top of that, Worthington also praised the MARC on the quality product that they provide – specifically the produce in the premium boxes.
Prior to the box model, The Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County was receiving all bulk produce – things like bags of potatoes, onions, and carrots. This was labor intensive for volunteers and more difficult for the food bank to handle. But in 2020, the food bank began receiving the MARC premium boxes. “It’s not the typical food bank grade – this is really nice produce. The MARC premium boxes are high quality, and we are proud to be able to offer this to our agencies.”
Learn more about the MARC: https://www.feedingpa.org/our-programs/marc/