Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) has received a major financial boost toward equipping its recently acquired building to become a food distribution hub. The Chester County Commissioners presented the nonprofit with a $294,000 grant toward increasing the facility’s electrical capacity and installing a generator to ensure an expanded 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’ Chair Marian Moskowitz said helping PACS reach more people in need is a worthy use of CARES dollars.
"PACS has been serving this community for almost 50 years, helping people overcome difficult times in their lives,” Moskowitz said. “Today’s grant represents more than a reward for their record of service. It reflects our support and encouragement as they increase the number of clients they will help with the food distribution hub.”
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 are grateful for the county’s cash infusion to convert the building for the organization’s mission.
“We now have almost 24,000 square feet of space for our food distribution hub. That’s about eight times the size of our previous 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 fulfill our vision and serve many more people. We have seen such an increase in numbers, not only since the pandemic, but in the last six months, our numbers have increased by about 50 percent. We are excited and eager to get the work started soon, and these funds from the county are critical to our operation.”
PACS provides several food programs in partnership with companies such as Trader Joe’s, Wawa, Wegman’s and Giant Food. In addition, PACS leads the Phoenixville Food Insecurity Team, a collective of local organizations and food pantries working together to solve food insecurity in Phoenixville.
“Even in a county as bountiful as ours, we have families who can’t afford an adequate amount of food,” noted Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell. “We are profoundly grateful to PACS for the emergency assistance it provides and the commitment that Mary and her amazing team make to looking after families in Phoenixville and the surrounding area.”
Numerous individuals and organizations, including community and school food drives, community gardens, local farms, the 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 with businesses, nonprofits and citizens contributing,” added Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline. “It warms my heart to see the spirit and concern that so many of our fellow residents have for those facing hardship. I am glad we, your county government, were able to make this contribution.”
For more information about PACS, please visit pacsphx.org/