Fare & Square, the not-for-profit grocery store designed to open in urban economically challenged areas, will open in the Chester on September 28, providing the community with a full range of food staples with a focus on fresh healthy produce, meat, deli and seafood products at everyday low prices. The store is a project of Philabundance, the DelawareValley’s largest hunger relief organization.
The retail unit is located in the west end of Chester, which is designated as one of 35 USDA determined food deserts in the DelawareValley and has been without a full service grocery store since 2001. Philabundance has completely rehabbed the 21,000 square foot building at the corner of 9th and Trainer Streets and there are plans to replicate the model with as many as six more units in communities with similar needs.
Bozzuto’s will supply the new store and veteran industry executive Paul Messina will serve as managing director. About 40 to 50 new jobs will be created and an emphasis will placed on hiring local residents whenever possible.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and Sunoco and are some of the store’s larger donors, enabling the $6 million project to get off the ground.
In addition to an emphasis on fresh food staples, the store will provide a complete selection of groceries and frozen foods and will feature everyday low pricing on national brands and private label products. SNAP/food stamps benefits will be offered as well.
Customers will be able to sign up for a free membership that will make them eligible for annual money back to be applied to future purchases. Shoppers who opt not to join will pay a slight mark up for purchases in certain categories.
Fare & Square will provide assistance to residents who don’t have the means to pay for food by referring them to one of its member agencies in the community.