Area to Benefit from $2M in Neighborhood Assistance

Local food banks and pantries (at top) are part of the Philabundance distribution network, which won a state Neighborhood Assistance Program grant Tuesday

HARRISBURG PA – Food banks, pantries and community kitchens across Montgomery and Chester counties, blighted areas in Pottstown, and local child advocacy services all are scheduled to benefit from three separate Pennsylvania grant awards totaling more than $2 million. They were announced Tuesday (Nov. 9, 2021) by Gov. Tom Wolf under the state’s Neighborhood Assistance Program.

  • Philabundance, which provides foods and supplies to member organizations in Pottstown, Royersford, Phoenixville, Pennsburg, and Harleysville, and elsewhere in Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties, will receive $1.9 million to distribute 50 million pounds of food across its service network during 2022;
  • Genesis Housing Corp. will receive $75,000 to address Pottstown neighborhood revitalization and blight remediation through smaller-scale improvement projects and façade funding; and
  • The Children Advocacy Center of Montgomery County will receive $18,750 to bring its Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center services from East Norriton to Pottstown to better serve victims of child abuse.

The Neighborhood Assistance Program supports nonprofits, businesses, and resident projects in distressed areas or low-income neighborhoods. Its local grants were part of $36 million in funding distributed statewide. The money comes from businesses who receive tax credits in exchange for donating capital to meet neighborhood and community problems.

For its grant, Genesis Housing partnered with Pottstown Community Action, Habitat for Humanity, Mosaic Community Land Trust, and Hobart’s Run for revitalization to improve safety, housing & commercial development, the state said. Projects are intended to update the community revitalization plan, increase financial literacy, improve community gardens, and promote healthy communities.

With its money, the Children Advocacy Center expects to improve its accessibility to vulnerable Pottstown families. Although only 2 percent of Montgomery County’s population resides in Pottstown, the borough represents between 15 and 20 percent the center’s abuse caseload.

State Rep. Joe Ciresi, whose 146th House District includes Pottstown, praised the grants. “At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing public health disparities,” he said, the program will assist in Pottstown’s ongoing revitalization and “lead to community improvements and a better quality of life.”

Photo by Ismael Paramo via Unsplash, used under license