Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Ceremony celebrates new food cupboard in Parkesburg
BY MARCELLA, PEYRE-FERRY, Correspondent
Families in the Octorara Area School District who need a helping hand to get meals on the table now have a place to go for assistance.
The Octorara Area Food Cupboard held grand-opening ceremonies on Thursday celebrating the new facility at 714 W. Main St., Parkesburg.
In 2005, a mobile food pantry was created to serve Parkesburg and the surrounding areas. It pulled into the parking lot of what was then Charlie's Thriftway with approximately 2,000 pounds of food from the Chester County Cares warehouse and Greater Philadelphia Food Bank.
Two volunteers and two staff members from Chester County Cares distributed food to 65 people from the back of a truck once a month.
The mobile pantry site moved to Parksedge Senior Apartments from 2006 to 2008, and the number of clients and volunteers kept increasing.
In 2009, the Chester County Food Bank took over the operation, parking at the George Schneider Parish Center through November 2012. In the last three years, more than 50 volunteers helped an average of 250 families each month.
"There's a tremendous need," said Judy Dougherty, who worked with the mobile pantry and is now at the Food Cupboard. "We have one of the highest poverty areas in the western end of (Chester) County."
Last year, when the Parkesburg Point Youth Center purchased the shopping center that includes the former Thriftway building, it also acquired the row of shops beside it. Wanting to work with other organizations that serve the community, the youth center offered the former district court building to the Chester County Food Bank for the new Octorara Area Food Cupboard.
Having a permanent site is more convenient for food recipients, plus it will allow the food bank to offer more items, including fresh-grown produce.
"With the (Parkesburg) Point Youth Center being on this site, with the gardens we're putting in, it's going to allow those youth to learn how to grow food that will come back to them, their families and the Food Cupboard," said Larry Welsch, executive director of the Chester County Food Bank.
The Octorara Area Food Cupboard is open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 4 p.m.; and on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and from 3 to 7 p.m.
Patrons can come on any Tuesday or Wednesday during the month, but no more than once a month, Dougherty said.
Services are available to residents of the Octorara Area School District who have a photo identification and a piece of mail as proof of address.
Income information is not required. For more information call 610-857-4000.