PHOENIXVILLE – Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) has received a major financial boost to outfit its recently acquired building to become a food distribution center.
Chester County Commissioners awarded the non-profit organization a $294,000 grant to expand the facility’s electrical capacity and install a generator to ensure an extensive refrigeration system is always running.
The funds come from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.
At a check presentation event at PACS headquarters at 101 Buchanan Street, Chester County Commissioners Chairperson Marian Moskowitz said helping PACS reach more people in need is a worthy use of dollars CARES.
“PACS has served this community for nearly 50 years, helping people through the tough times in their lives,” Moskowitz said. “Today’s grant is more than a reward for their service. This reflects our support and encouragement as they increase the number of customers they will help with the food distribution center. »
PACS purchased the building from Town Supply Company, which had operated there for 53 years. PACS Executive Director Mary Fuller said she and the PACS Board of Directors are grateful for the county’s infusion of funds to convert the building for the organization’s mission.
“We now have nearly 24,000 square feet of space for our food distribution center. It’s about eight times the size of our old building,” she said. “The funding we receive today will help us prepare the building so we can install an elevator and the expanded refrigeration equipment needed to realize our vision and serve many more people. We’ve seen such an increase in numbers, not only since the pandemic, but in the last six months our numbers have increased by about 50%. We are excited and looking forward to starting work soon, and these county funds are essential to our operation. »
PACS offers several food programs in partnership with companies such as Trader Joe’s, Wawa, Wegman’s and Giant Food. Additionally, PACS leads the Phoenixville Food Insecurity Team, a collective of local organizations and pantries working together to address food insecurity in Phoenixville.
“Even in a county as wealthy as ours, we have families who cannot afford enough food,” Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell noted. “We are deeply grateful to PACS for the emergency assistance they provide and the commitment Mary and her incredible team are making to care for families in Phoenixville and surrounding areas.”
Many people and organizations including community and school food drives, community gardens, local farms, Chester County Food Bank and Philabundance donate the food that PACS distributes to the community.
“The work being done here at PACS is a collective effort involving businesses, nonprofits and citizens,” added Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline. “It warms my heart to see the spirit and concern that so many of our fellow citizens have for people in difficulty. I am glad that we, your county government, have been able to make this contribution.
For more information on PACS, please visit https://www.pacsphx.org/