January 2023 Newsletter
In 2022, PACS was able to meet the increased need for food in our community thanks to the dedication of every volunteer, donor and PACS team member.
2022 also marked the 50th year of PACS helping people in the greater Phoenixville area get through difficult periods in their lives. At the 50th Anniversary Gala, Lois Gould, PACS’ first Executive Director, was honored for her service. “It's amazing to consider how PACS started in a small office on Gay Street with some donated items and a few volunteers,” said Mary Fuller, PACS Executive Director. “In the years since, staff, volunteers, and donors have devoted significant time and resources to help PACS become what it is today, the leading resource for food security in Phoenixville. Click here to read about our 50th Anniversary Casino Night Gala and view photos here.
It was a year to celebrate and be truly thankful.
The Need for Food Grew in 2022!
In the last year, we have seen an upsurge in the number of people we serve by more than 200%.
The Need for Holiday Meals, in 2022, had grown exponentially. We provided approximately 500 families with Thanksgiving and December Holiday Meals. So many of you answered the call for support during our Fall Appeal. These donations assisted in providing an estimated 1,733 individuals with delicious, healthy food for the holidays. Well done!
Private Donations and Food Drives Have Been Key to Our Ability To Meet The Growing Need
Private Donation and Food Drives have been essential in providing much needed items for struggling veterans, residents, seniors, children and pets in our community. Whether you are students working on a service project, a scout troop working on a community service badge, or you are from an organization striving to help more in the community, we are thankful for all that has been donated to us in 2022.
Food Drive Donations - During December alone, our top five group donors, Phoenixville Hospital, Victory Bank, Helper Nation, Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital, and Breakfast with Santa @ Steel City Coffeehouse & Brewery, collected a total of 2,200 pounds of food.
A Simple Gesture Program (ASG) – The Green Bag Program In one year 35,000 lbs. of food and other needed items were collected by 420+ Phoenixville families who fill their bag bi-monthly. That’s roughly 30,000 meals! We are thankful for these families and the 20+ volunteers who happily pick up the green bags, weigh the items, and stock them in our warehouse. Click here to learn more.
Brad Peterson, PACS Volunteer Organizer for ASG, was awarded the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation’s Community Champion Award, in part for his work with the set up and operation of PACS’ A Simple Gesture Program. We are proud to have him as a part of the PACS Family.
A Corporate Simple Gesture Program (ACSG) will begin February, 2023. ACSG will be ideal for companies who want to become more active in their community. This can also be a great opportunity for Employee Community Service Incentives. PACS will provide a donation bin where employees can place their non-perishable items. Corporations can sign up for various donation timeframes and delivery options to PACS. For more information, please click here.
Save The Date!
Empty Bowls Fundraiser - Please come to Empty Bowls to support PACS and enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread! Guests can choose to dine-in or pick up their meal at our drive-thru. Either way, you’ll receive a ceramic bowl to remind you of those in our area who are food insecure. This year’s event will also feature background music provided by local student musicians from Members of the Phoenixville Phortissimos and Crescendo Kids; a 50/50 Raffle; Basket Raffles; and children activities.
Tickets are on sale now. Order here.
Empty Bowls is a grassroots movement started by artists and crafts people around the world to raise money for food related charities. PACS partners with local schools and crafts people who provide handmade bowls each year. PACS is excited that the Technical College High School will once again be making the soups and hosting our event.
PACS is an Award Winning Non-Profit!
The American Rescue Plan Act Funds (AR
PA) Grant was awarded to us in September 2022 by the Chester County Commissions. We were awarded $428,000 to help us with our refrigeration expansion project, which in turn will assist with the handling and processing of quality perishable food donations. For more information click here.
The Community Betterment Award & Non-Profit of the Year Award were presented to us in March 2022 and November 2022 respectively by the Phoenixville Chamber of Commerce. These awards recognized PACS as a key component in the community “for striving to make Phoenixville a better place.”
Our Staff Doubled in the Last Year. We are pleased to have welcomed Meredith Ferry, Warehouse Coordinator; Mike Claus, Receiving and Maintenance Coordinator; Erica Johnson, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator; and Debbie McGinn, Program and Development Coordinator. Their passion, drive, and innovation make them a great fit for the staff expansion.
2023 is Off To A Tremendous Start!
$1,056,000; This was the amount awarded to PACS in January for Infrastructure Upgrades. “Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) successfully funded 14 Community Project Funding priorities, totaling $10,079,774, through the House Appropriations Committee. The Appropriations’ package was signed into law in December 2022. The purpose of Community Project Funding is to enable Members of Congress to allocate available federal funds to worthy, local projects in a timely manner.”
“Representative Chrissy Houlahan and her staff worked tirelessly to secure these funds for PA’s 6th district, and we are beyond grateful,” said Mary Fuller, Executive Director of Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS). “We will use our $1,056,000 in Community Project Funding to complete much-needed infrastructure upgrades at our food distribution center.
To view Press Release, please click here
Volunteer of the Quarter – Joe Cowan
Joe Cowan has been a PACS volunteer for a little over two and half years. He is a big part of our retail rescue mission at places like Redner's and Giant, etc. and does our regular supplemental pick-ups at Triple Fresh. He also delivers our Silver Service orders to older community members. His favorite part of being a volunteer is visiting the seniors when making deliveries. Most of our clients live alone, so being able to keep them company even for a brief time is valuable to both him and them.
Joe became interested in PACS after retiring from his job of thirty years as a speech therapist. He was looking for a way to help the Phoenixville community, and his timing could not have been more perfect. Joe joined the team when we were moving to our current location. He had a pickup truck that came in handy to help haul things from the old building to the new one. Joe must have made over thirty trips during the move!
Click here to learn more about Joe and his involvement with PACS.