An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Aid fund set up in wake of explosion at West Reading candy factory

Rescue workers comb through debris the day after the R.M. Palmer Co. explosion in Reading on Saturday, March 25, 2023. (Source: WFMZ)

Two community organizations have established a relief fund for families affected by Friday’s explosion at the R.M. Palmer candy factory in West Reading.

United Way of Berks County and Berks County Community Foundation announced Sunday that they have set up the West Reading Disaster Recovery Fund. They said they did so at the request of West Reading Borough Council.

Donations can be made online via the foundation’s website, or donors may send checks to:

If you are donating by check, write “West Reading Disaster Recovery Fund” in the memo line.

The blast, which came shortly before 5 p.m. Friday, killed seven people, leveled one building and badly damaged another. Two of the seven victims have been identified publicly: One of them, Amy Sandoe, 49, is from Ephrata, according to LNP.

The cause remains under investigation.