This past week the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a total of $6 million to food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens around the country to improve and expand their capacity and infrastructure.
The awards total close to $6 million and are funded through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) Infrastructure Grant program. Nearly $3.3 million will be awarded to 19 organizations in 17 states which primarily serve rural areas. The remaining funds will be awarded to another 20 organizations in 15 states that serve a mix of rural, suburban, and urban communities.
One organization in the second group is The Storehouse in Albuquerque, which received an award $249,550 from the USDA. See full list of recipients.
By the way, The Storehouse suffered major storm damage in August. Rain and wind ripped a 6-foot hole in the ceiling of its main structure. Funding for these repairs has been secured from other sources.
Organizations like food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens are critical to ensuring that the most vulnerable Americans have access to quality, nutritious foods, especially during difficult economic times," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "With the help of these grants, many of the recipient organizations will be able help more individuals and families to access healthy food.
The funding will come in handy for The Storehouse, which will use the money to acquire an additional box truck, fork lift and other equipment, The funds will also help update its computer system and help with new programs/projects.
Sarah Newman from the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger points out that The Rio Grande Food Project was also included in this grant award, and will share the prize and responsibility with the Storehouse.