CHESTER, PA. — In Chester, a city where hard times often plow under shiny promises, a hunger-relief agency’s pledge to build America’s first nonprofit supermarket was greeted skeptically at first.
But Philabundance may be confounding local doubters. Its Fare & Square grocery store, seven years in the making, is ready to open its doors this morning, a rare oasis in what has been called a food desert.
“No one believed this was coming,” said Denina Hood, a Chester native and an employee of the store that will become the first supermarket in town since 2001. “But this store isn’t going anywhere.”
Usually in the business of distributing donated food to pantries in the Delaware Valley, Philabundance, a nonprofit, has augmented its mission and become a store owner, charging prices 8 percent to 10 percent lower than small urban grocers.