New Bedford’s PACE Inc. Celebrates 40 Years of Fighting Poverty [TOWNSQUARE SUNDAY]
PACE, Inc. in New Bedford has been in the business of helping people for 41 years. A 40th anniversary gala celebration has been delayed for one year because of the pandemic, but COVID did not stop PACE from continuing its mission as an anti-poverty agency.
PACE (People Acting in Community Endeavors) was formed in 1982 as a non-profit community action agency serving the Greater New Bedford area. It currently operates 10 programs from food security to Head Start and has a budget of more than $72 million.
Director Pam Rogers Kuechler visited Townsquare Sunday this week to review the history of PACE and discuss some future goals.
PACE forms those goals every three years by conducting an online community survey.
"We want to find out what the community thinks we should be working on," Kuechler said. "Where are people feeling the most stress, what are the things rising to the top for folks that's making life more challenging for them?"
Keuchler said of the survey's submitted so far, housing has cropped up as the highest need.
"It's a huge issue that as a community, we really need to tackle it, and address it. Doing more of the same is not going to solve the problem," she said.
PACE is accepting responses to its community survey until March 13. You can visit the PACE website to learn more.
PACE is also addressing food security issues by opening a new food pantry at 477 Park Street on March 23.
Two education programs, Head Start and Youth Build, are also operated by PACE, as is the Fuel Assistance program, which helps income-eligible individuals and families to pay their heating and energy bills through the winter. Kuechler said folks can still apply through the PACE website.
The PACE 40th Anniversary Gala is happening Thursday, May 4 at the Century House in Acushnet. Tickets are available online.
The complete interview with PACE Executive Director Pam Rogers Kuechler can be heard here:
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