A food pantry recently opened its doors at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) to help Veterans who are finding it difficult to maintain adequate food supply for themselves and their families.
The new Lincoln's Promise Food Pantry is the result of the Chester County Food Bank and the Coatesville VAMC's longstanding collaborative efforts to address food insecurity in Chester County.
"We want to make sure Veterans are eating and despite the phenomenal work of Chester County community organizations, there are gaps in programs and services that leave food insecure Veterans wondering where to turn," said Meredith Kenny, Assistant Chief of Nutrition and Food Services. "Support from the Lincoln's Promise Food Pantry is supplemental to any support Veterans may already be receiving and is designed to help fill in those gaps."
Chester County Food Bank donated the initial food supplies needed to stock the shelves of the new space, but Kenny hopes the pantry can eventually collect enough donations on their own to sustain the communities Veterans. Organizations and individuals looking to donate to the Lincoln's Promise Food Pantry may contact Voluntary Services at 610-384-7711, extension 4228.
How it works
Eligibility to use the pantry does not depend on an income threshold. Veterans do not need a referral to use the pantry; they can self-refer by contacting a Coatesville VAMC nutrition specialist.
The pantry is here for Veterans whether they just need a one-time holdover, or they need longer-term support and wish to shop with us each month. The amount of food allowed is based on the number of people living in the Veteran's household.
Lincoln's Promise is primarily a 'choice pantry' meaning Veterans can shop the pantry and select the items they prefer to eat and there is always a supply of prepared boxes of food ready to place in the hands of a Veteran in immediate need.
Location and Hours
Lincoln's Promise Food Pantry is located in building 57 on the basement level at Coatesville VAMC and is open on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from noon until 3 p.m. Any Veteran with questions or who would like to schedule a private appointment outside of those hours may call 610-384-7711, extension 3728 to speak to a nutrition specialist.
The partnership with Chester County Foodbank has evolved since Coatesville VAMC initially partnered with them to bring the Fresh2you Mobile Market onto their campus approximately four years ago.
The Fresh2You Mobile Market visits the Coatesville CAMC campus each Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. from now through November 17.
For the last few years Veterans participating in the gardening program at the Coatesville VAMC have been donating their excess fresh produce to the Chester County organizations including the Chester County Food bank throughout the growing season in an effort to give back to a community that never forgets their Veterans.