Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of President Donald Trump and a senior White House adviser, made a campaign stop at a Lancaster County food bank on Friday.
She is making a swing Friday through southeastern Pennsylvania, participating in a "fireside chat" in Honey Brook, Chester County, Friday afternoon, and was headed to Bucks County after leaving Lancaster County.
Ivanka Trump visited Blessings of Hope in Warwick Township just before 11 a.m. on Friday.
Ivanka Trump toured the space, from its volunteer packing area, where a dozen or so volunteers were packing cartons of ricotta cheese, to its refrigerated food storage area, for about 20 minutes. She thanked the volunteers for their work as she walked by, stopping to take a selfie with one of them.
“You should be so proud of the work you’re doing here. It’s amazing,” Trump told a group of volunteers after the tour, before taking a group picture with them outside.
During the tour, Trump noticed a volunteer wearing a red hat with “TRUMP” on the front. “Great hat,” she said, pointing to him. “Trump 2020,” he replied.
David Lapp, 38, CEO, and Aaron Fisher, 40, executive director, guided Ivanka Trump through the facility. They told LNP | LancasterOnline they were grateful for the visit.
“It was great. It was an honor to be able to share what we’re doing and have her support,” Lapp said.
Trump did not take questions from a reporter following the tour.
Blessings of Hope is a 44,000-square-foot food bank distribution center in Leola that serves ministries from New York City to North Carolina.
Fisher and Lapp started the food bank in 2006 by collecting leftover food from food distributors and distributing them to families and ministries, both locally and out of the area. Though Fisher and Lapp grew up Amish, they consider their work more of an evangelical endeavor than Amish.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Blessings of Hope has given food to more than 250 ministries in the mid-Atlantic region. In April, LNP | LancasterOnline wrote that the demand for food was outgrowing the Blessing of Hope's supply. Blessings of Hope donates more than 66,000 meals per day, according to its website.
Blessings of Hope participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers to Families Food Box program, which is why Ivanka Trump visited, Lapp said. The program, initiated in April as the coronavirus pandemic started to ramp up, has sent more than 80 million boxed meals to those in need since May.
"It was an honor to show her what we do and how the Farmers to Families program has helped us with distributing to other organizations," Fisher said.
Pennsylvania is a battleground state in the 2020 presidential campaign between Republican Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who is a Pennsylvania native and a longtime senator from Delaware, as well as former vice president under President Barack Obama, Trump's predecessor.
Trump visited Pennsylvania yesterday, speaking to a crowd at an airplane hanger in Latrobe, Westmoreland County. He visited Old Forge, Lackawanna County, last month near the end of the Democratic National Convention — just a few miles from Biden's birthplace of Scranton. Vice President Mike Pence visited Exeter, Luzerne County, earlier this week.
Biden, similarly, has been making visits to Pennsylvania, including a stop in southwestern Pennsylvania earlier this week. Earlier this summer, he made a campaign stop in Lancaster city to talk with families who had been impacted by the Affordable Care Act.
Biden leads Trump by 7 points in Pennsylvania, a key battleground state that carries 20 electoral votes, with two months until the Nov. 3 election, a recent Franklin & Marshall College poll found.
The Democratic Party's presidential nominee won support from 49% of nearly 700 registered voters surveyed Aug. 17-23, before the Republican National Convention began. Trump, a Republican seeking his second term in the White House, got 42% support from those polled.
The poll's margin of error was 5.2 percentage points. Biden was leading Trump in Pennsylvania by 9 points in a similar poll conducted in July.
Both Biden and Trump will visit Shanksville, Somerset County, the site of the Flight 93 crash, on Sept. 11, the 19th anniversary of the terror attacks. Flight 93 was hijacked by al Qaida terrorists; it crashed in a Pennsylvania field as passengers attempted to retake control of the plane.