January 20, 2021 , 4:00 am

Food Security is addressed by Food Infrastructure Recovery Grant Program

In 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection initiated the Food Infrastructure Recovery Grant Program to address food security.

Funded through the commonwealth’s Recycling Fund, the grant program provides grants of up to $200,000 to Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations to purchase equipment that preserves food, like refrigeration units, for example.

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank was a recipient of the highest amount of the grant program, $200,000, and was able to acquire three refurbished refrigeration trucks, as well as the van to enhance the work that they were already doing, Central Pennsylvania Food Banks Executive Director Joe Arthur said during last week’s “Feeding Pennsylvanians, Reducing Waste” panel discussion on food security in Pennsylvania.

“So that really had a direct impact during COVID-19 and actually rescuing a lot more food,” said Arthur.

Arthur has been fighting hunger through the food bank and other endeavors. The food bank is a nonprofit organization where their mission is fighting hunger, improving lives and strengthening communities within the territory of 27 counties in central Pennsylvania, including Clearfield County.

By working with more than 1,000 local agencies and partner programs, the food bank serves nearly 200,000 people in need every month and shared 70 million pounds of food in 2020.

“Our food bank has a robust system of food rescue and redistribution,” said Arthur. “We divert millions of pounds of food before it is thrown away and share it with those who need a helping hand. We save it from restaurants, retailers, grocers, shipping companies and farms. With proper food safety practices, we rescue it, keep it fresh, and maintain its high quality and nutrition.”

Dr. Darrell E. Bartholomew, a marketing professor at Penn State Harrisburg, developed a food sustainability case study in collaboration with The GIANT Company titled, “Meat the Needs.”

“I was happy to be able to participate in the panel discussion at the farm show. My family and I love going to the farm show and seeing all of the baby animals. Even though we can’t participate in the same way this year in some of the events, there are some important discussions that we can all participate in when it comes to helping our neighbors in our local communities,” Bartholomew said.

Nicholas Bertram, president of the GIANT Company, a Carlisle-based grocery chain with more than 150 stores in Pennsylvania, said, “At the GIANT Company, our purpose of connecting families for a better future guides all that we do. Our work to eliminate hunger and heal the planet are just two of the many ways we bring our purpose to life in the communities we serve, and uniquely, our ‘Meat the Needs’ program helps do both. Since its inception, this program has helped our food bank partners feed our neighbors while reducing food waste, and we couldn’t be prouder of the positive impact it has had over the years. As a company that aims to lead by example in all that it does, we hope that the success of this program inspires others to do what they can to make a difference.”

Tags
baby animals
Food Bank
food rescue
giant company
hunger
local communities

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