‘Right Place, Right Time’: Phoenixville’s Community Services Nurtures Families’ Food Security Each Day

PACS team members
Image via Phoenixville Area Community Services.
PACS team members.

The Phoenixville Community Services, otherwise known as PACS, helped a record number of families in July and are not slowing down their roll. For half a century, PACS has been dedicated to helping those in need through difficult or challenging times in their lives. By providing access to food and other resources, volunteers help create food secure neighborhoods.

Although Chester County is one of the wealthiest counties in Pennsylvania, many families still struggle with food security and rely on food banks and community resource centers to get help.

“We’ve seen a more than 300 percent increase in our service numbers this year,” said Mary Fuller, Executive Director of PACS. “The number of people who come to our doors or access food through our agency partnerships is staggering. Many people are struggling to purchase food. PACS itself typically spends about $10,000 a month to supplement donations and buy necessities, like bread, milk, and meat.”

“Here at PACS, we’ve never been more passionate or committed to being the lead resource for food insecurity in Phoenixville. As food prices skyrocket and need continues, we’re finding new ways to get healthy food to the individuals and agencies who need it. We’ve launched new services and recovered increasing amounts of food from area grocers and restaurants—food that may have otherwise been wasted,” Fuller continued.

PACS continues to see an increase of families visiting the service, sometimes up to 100 families in one day.

In July 2021, PACS aided 282 families. In July 2022, they aided 715 families, which shows a 153 percent increase.

The total number of referrals/requests for service in July 2021 was 1182 and 2632 this July, which shows a 123 percent increase. Additionally, between June 2021 and June 2022, the number of referrals was 20,656, thus providing resources to around 61,968 people total.

In July 2022, PACS received 34,400 pounds of food donations from retail locations, which is more than 17 tons.

PACS has dedicated volunteers and leaders who are looking to make a difference in the community. Neighbors, businesses, and other community members work together to raise resources and awareness to help meet each client’s needs.

“When we decided to have food insecurity be the focus of PACS, we knew there was a need,” said Fred Hubler, PACS President. “Pre-pandemic, we knew our role in the community was food-centered I never realized how much it was going to develop, so this further supports our move to the new and much bigger location.”

“PACS board, staff, and volunteers are all in the right place at the right time to make a real impact to our friends in the community who have food insecurity,” Hubler continued. 

Learn more about PACS.

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