Chester County food banks need help getting through COVID-19

DOWNINGTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The coronavirus has meant a new world of challenges for non-profit organizations.

Each day the supply of food at the Lord's Food Pantry in Downingtown is going to get smaller. In fact, they had a huge list of items they needed Monday.

But Executive Director Jan Leaf said they probably only got 4 or 5 items.

She says because of the coronavirus, local stores are picked through, meaning families in need might suffer.

The pantry won't be able to meet demands for balanced meals.

"We're going to continue to serve the community for as long as we can, the best we can," said Leaf.

With non-essential business coming to a halt, people are going to miss paychecks and will likely need to tap into non-profits all over the county.

That's why Chris Saello, president & CEO of the United Way Chester County, announced the creation of an emergency fund.

"It's called the Chester County COVID-19 Response Fund and it'll be used for rapid deployment funds for nonprofits for food insecurity, utility assurance and to general operating," said Saello.

He says they're asking for everyone to help.

Saello said, "We're calling on the entire business community throughout the county, if you've got the ability to give, the need is going to be great."

Also in Downingtown, local businesses are set to miss out on weeks of revenue.
That's why local owners like Rick Menna of the Coffee Cup Restaurant and Nick Winkler of Work-2Gether shared workspace have spearheaded an effort to raise funds.

Winkler said "It's downtowndtown.com. It's for people to try to pick some places they can do gift cards for and keep us supported during this tough time."

Menna said, "We're down over 80% on our first day of only being takeout."
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