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By Syma Chowdhry
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It may look like an ordinary grocery store, but it’s considered an extraordinary addition to Chester.
“I think this is a long time coming.”
Fair & Square is the first grocery store in the city since 2001.
Now, Chester residents don’t leave town to shop for food.
“When you have to take multiple buses to go to the store with your kids and come back on a bus, you tend to not have frozen foods, not to have produce,” says Bill Clark, the president of Philabundance.
Fair & Square is located at 9th and Trainer and is run by Philabundance, a nonprofit organization.
Anyone can shop there, and all you need is a free membership card.
“You don’t have to be needy. You don’t have to live in Chester,” says Clark.
Like many other stores, Fair and Square will have a circular and will accept food stamps. It’s the first grocery store in the country to be run by a non-profit organization.
“We’re probably 8% to 10% cheaper than a store would be in a store like this, but in addition, we are picking certain items that we know are critical to a community, like diapers,” Clark says.
Erika Colon lives three blocks away and says this store is much needed.
“It has everything I normally buy for my children and my husband, so I think it will be really good,” Colon says.
In addition to providing nutritious foods to the community, Fair and Square brings in nearly 70 jobs.
And Philabundance says that with the building being government-owned, there is no pressure to stay afloat.
“I don’t have to make a profit because I don’t have investors, so for me, a break even is successful delivery,” Clark adds.
Fair and Square will be open to the public on Saturday starting at 11 a.m., and then daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more info, visit: www.philabundance.org/programs-2/chesterfoodaccess