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Chester County Press

New Garden to serve as new donation site for KACS' Food Cupboard

06/16/2020 12:53PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

For those residents of Chester County who are looking to make donations of food to the Food Cupboard at Kennett Area Community Service (KACS), they will have a new drop-off location for the next five months – at the New Garden Township Building on Starr Road in Landenberg.

At its June 15 online meeting, the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors approved using the lower level of the building to store and inventory the food that community members will drop off in the building's parking lot. Donations will be accepted there every Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., beginning on July 7 and ending in December.

In speaking to the board, KACS Executive Director Leah Reynolds said that before COVID-19 hit, 90 percent of the food available for distribution came from donations. During the first week of March, as the alarms first sounded about the pandemic, donations began to dry up, and soon after, Reynolds had to suspend the 75 volunteers who had helped secure food donations from stores and residents in the Kennett Square community.

Beginning in April, a citizen-led food drive at the Kennett Area YMCA collected over 60,000 pounds of food over 20 collection periods. Reynolds said that the request to relocate the drop-off site to New Garden is because the YMCA needs to use their gymnasium in order to conduct socially distant summer programs.

“Since March 13, we've had about 5,300 people visit the Food Cupboard because of the pandemic,” Reynolds said. “This health crisis is quickly becoming a hunger crisis. Our Emergency Assistance Program has helped about 300 families to the tune of about $233,000 in assistance to help them pay for rent, utilities and other life expenses.”

KACS' food donation process at the New Garden Township Building will collect food in the same fashion as had been conducted at the YMCA. Donors will arrive at the location after having stored their donation in their trunk, and volunteers will remove the food from the trunk and add it to the Food Cupboard's inventory for distribution to needy families.

In other township business, the board approved the selection of four houses in the township to be included in the township's historic resources inventory and map. Two of the selected properties are located at 1 Altemus Drive and 1610 Yeatman's Station Road, while the others are owned by the township: the Lyceum House, located in New Garden Township Park, and a farmhouse that is situated in St. Anthony's in the Hills.

Bob Wise, an architectural historian with Richard Grubb & Associates in Cranbury, N.J., told the board that he had been retained by the township to conduct an architectural survey of all five properties and ascertain whether they met the two or more of the four criteria for consideration to be included in the inventory. In order to be considered for historical significance in the township, Wise said that a house must be constructed on or before Jan. 1, 1940; it must have significant character, interest or value as an example of development, heritage or historic character of the township; it must reflect the environment in an era of history characterized by a distinctive architectural style; and it must embody the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style and engineering specifications.

Based on Wise's recommendations, one additional home that had been considered for the list – 1511 Yeatman's Station Road – was not chosen to be among those properties to be included in the inventory and map. An attorney for the homeowners later told the board that the couple who owns the house did not wish to have their property considered for inclusion on the list.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email rgaw@chestercounty.com.