After over 40 years serving the areas’ most needy, the Coatesville Emergency Food Cupboard will close its doors on Wednesday after it finishes helping its last family, writes Lucas Rodgers for Daily Local News.
The food cupboard was founded by a lifelong Coatesville resident, Doris Spann, when she was the President of the Southeastern Chester County Business and Professional Women’s Club. The 96-year-old said it was her dream to help others in the community and one way to do it was by creating Christmas baskets containing non-perishable foods that would bring much needed joy to struggling families during the holidays.
That inaugural year, four families received the aid, but the program soon blossomed and three decades later, the food cupboard’s “Operation Thanksgiving and Christmas” has now been helping over 600 families during the holidays each year, all with the help of founder’s family, friends and her late husband, Moses Spann.
The holiday idea grew into a year-round program, and for the past 10 years the food cupboard has been open to struggling families twice a week, serving them food on Tuesdays and Thursdays out of its warehouse located at 1001 East Chestnut Street from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., with over 100 people benefiting each week.
However, as the rent and upkeep of the building have become too expensive and food donations have lessened over time, as a result Spann said, the food cupboard has to close.
Spann enjoyed helping through the food cupboard with other women from Coatesville, Thorndale, Downingtown and other areas in Chester County, who generously volunteered their time to help out, and it was with heavy heart that she received the news about its closing.
“I’m sorry about the cupboard … my heart’s heavy,” Spann said. “I know things are not here to last forever.”
“It is bittersweet really,” said her son, Jim Robinson, adding that “We have been blessed a thousand-fold by the overwhelming generosity of this community in an effort to help and support our friends and neighbors who have fallen on hard times. Over the years our family has grown to include those people that we strive to help as well as all of the generous people who have made it possible for us to do all we have done.”