UPDATE: Chester OKs $100,000 for Philabundance food center

By John Kopp
Delco Daily Times

CHESTER – City council unanimously voted to provide funding for a proposed Philabundance food center Wednesday morning.

Council voted, 5-0, to allocate $100,000 in Community Block Development Grant funds to help the nonprofit Philabundance purchase the building needed to house the food center, a hybrid of a pantry and low-cost grocery store.

The total project will cost about $4 million. Philabundance officials have said they still need to raise more than half of that total. The proposed center would be located at 3101 W. Ninth St.

Tentative plans have the food center open at least five days a week and providing 20-25 jobs, according to Philabundance officials.

Several Chester residents took the opportunity to voice their opinions for and against the Philabundance market during the meeting’s public comment portion.

Many members of Chester’s various food pantries said they were against council giving money to Philabundance, because they felt it is a duplication of services. They also argued that many of their pantries have been operating in the city for years, but never received funding from the city.

Members of council encouraged the food pantries to apply for future city funding. They said they would consider assisting other food pantries in the future.

Mayor Wendell N. Butler Jr. said the addition of Philabundance does not preclude a supermarket from coming to Chester. Chester has lacked a supermarket for 10 years.

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