For many residents of Chester, Pennsylvania, fresh and healthy food options are by no means guaranteed.
In a community with many living at or below the poverty line, the staff at CityTeam Chester witness firsthand the impact that their food pantry program has on the city’s residents, according to Anna Donahoe, Director of Women’s and Neighborhood Programs.
“Chester is a bit of a food desert; many of our clients don’t even have access to a grocery store,” she says. “We have people come from pretty far away — many walk or use public transit — just because they know they’ll have fresh options.”
As a Philabundance agency, CityTeam Chester has reliable access to fresh food, supporting its food distribution efforts to individuals and families throughout the city. It’s a partnership that allows CityTeam to meet the needs of the community, while also providing consistent access and a degree of choice to residents.
“We have a client who is vegan, another who doesn’t eat pork,” says Cindy Klein, Food Outreach Coordinator. “It makes me feel good that they can adhere to a lifestyle that suits their belief systems, and still have access to fresh, healthy alternatives.”
It’s that commitment to supplying fresh, healthy food that makes Philabundance such a resource and a valued partner, says Anna.
“For the people we serve, especially in our kitchen, it might be their only meal of the day. So to be able to offer a well-balanced meal, it means the world.”